When a school district implements evaluation measures a new and different perspective on systems improvement is formed within the district. It begins when a district identifies annual goals, and then cascades these goals through departments and schools through the identification of short cycle goals and progress monitoring measures. As a result, districts use data to inform performance decisions, as described below by one superintendent:
We are data focused and data driven. All procedures and decisions that we make, we are sure to tie back to data. For example, we do a state-wide test every year; we were measuring one data point, but we were using no other data points for seeing how our students were achieving. We now understand the need to gather additional data points and do this quarterly across the district…
The statement, “We now understand the need to gather additional data points,” grounds systems improvement from a progress-monitoring perspective. This was echoed at this year’s What’s Right in Education as captured in this tweet:
Education leaders see the district’s progress toward annual goals across the year so that adjustments can be made. Adjustments may align to the initiatives that align to the short cycle goals or the actions/strategies for each initiatives. For a school district to improve and move toward excellence, every school and every department must achieve excellence.