Saturday, May 20, 2006

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent used growth metrics as part of reform package

Milwaukee Public Schools is now in its fifth year of reporting value-added metrics for individual schools in the system. Sup. Andrekopoulos is using one of the core reporting forms from the value-added report. The district level report includes a simple 2-by-2 table of schools at the high, middle, and elementary levels. These tables lay out high and low attainment on the vertical axis and high and low student value added on the horizontal axis. The district is giving more autonomy to schools that show high attainment and high growth. Schools with low growth and attainment are being singled out and are receiving more direction from the central office, including the placement of "instructional facilitators" in each school. These facilitators report to central curriculum and instructional staff rather than to the local leadership.

It is important to note that this is not classroom or grade level value added. This is not a system that sanctions individual teachers. Rather, it focuses on research in the district on effective teaching strategies that correlates with improved student outcomes and seeks to implement these strategies in failing schools.


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