Imagine you have been asked to interview for a position as an assessment leader for a school district. As part of the interview process, the school board has asked you to develop a Case Study about their district showcasing your analysis of their current data practices and how they relate to trends, issues, and research surrounding assessment and data. You will develop this Case Study as part of a multi-week course project as you explore various issues related to using assessment and data for school improvement at the school and district levels.
To prepare for this assignment, begin to research a district you would like to investigate in depth for your Case Study Project. It can be the district you currently work for or one you find through your own research. No matter what district you select, make sure that it has a public website that can be accessed by your Instructor and colleagues. It will be very helpful to you if the website is extensive and contains a wide range of information about the district. Additionally, preview the project assignments in this course and be sure that you can gather information related to the weekly topics so that you can complete your Case Study. You may be able to access some information via the district’s website. However, you may also find it necessary as part of your research to contact individuals who work for the school district to gather information to help you complete your Case Study.
For each section of your Case Study Project, you may choose a different format (although this option is provided to allow flexibility and creativity and is not required). For example, you may choose to develop Case Study Part 1 as a written report, Case Study Part 2 as a PowerPoint presentation, Case Study Part 3 as a video, and Case Study Part 4 as another written report. However, the format you choose should match the specifications for the component, correspond to the kinds of information you have gathered, and should support the Instructor’s ability to understand the Case Study (as he or she is your “ interviewer”).
For Part 1 of your Case Study Project, gather information about the school district you are researching and prepare a report that includes the following information:
I. Executive Summary
The district’s mission/vision statement
Student demographics (breakdown by race, eligibility for Free or Reduced Meals, English Language Learners, and any other available demographics)
Number of school-based employees
Number of schools
II. Assessment Data Summary
Review the latest assessment data for the school district and address the following in your report:
Identify the assessments the school system is using to collect data about students
For each assessment, provide a summary of the latest results
What subject areas are tested?
What grade levels are tested?
How often are the assessments administered?
Describe overall trends in the data
Where are improvements being made?
What are some areas of concern?
Describe trends in the data for each demographic group for which there is a repor
Describe data the school district has collected for culture/climate
How is this data being used to improve schools?
Identify areas of growth and areas of concern
III. Conclusions and Recommendations
Based on the information you have collected about your Case Study school district and on your learning in the first four weeks of this course, complete the Conclusions and Recommendations section of Case Study Part 1. Cite information from the Learning Resources to support your analysis and recommendations.
Think about the following questions and make recommendations to the school district regarding their use of assessment and data for school improvement:
What should be their areas of main concern? Where should they focus their school improvement efforts?
Are there clear connections between the results of the assessment data and their efforts to improve teaching and learning?
What additional data should they collect or consider that is not currently available?
Cite web pages, documents, individuals, and other resources you accessed to collect information for your Case Study: Part 1 project.
In Part 2 of your Case Study Project, you will investigate how your school district shares assessment data within the school district and to the larger community.
I. Sharing Data with Stakeholders
To complete Part 2 of your Case Study, prepare a report that includes the following information:
Describe how your Case Study school district communicates information about assessment data
Describe the kinds of data they communicate (i.e., summaries, detailed reports, trend, etc.)
Identify who is accountable for sharing school district data and communicating results with the public
Prepare a graphic that illustrates how data is shared throughout the school district
Describe how the district involves the community in decision making
Provide examples of ways in which the larger community is involved in school improvement
II: Conclusions and Recommendations
Based on the information you have collected about your Case Study school district and on your learning in the first six weeks of this course, complete the Conclusions and Recommendations section of Case Study Part 2. Cite information from the Learning Resources to support your analysis and recommendations.
Analyze the school district’s effectiveness at communicating assessment data results and keeping stakeholders informed throughout the school improvement process. For example, is assessment data readily available to the public? How does the school district help stakeholders interpret the message of the data?
What recommendations would you make to the school district on how to strengthen and enhance their communication with stakeholders about data and school improvement initiatives?
Reflect on the Executive Summary you constructed in Part 1 of the Case Study Project. If you were asked to share the Executive Summary with the local media, what would the public version look like? Are there parts you would rewrite or remove? Are there portions appropriate for internal eyes only? Share your Executive Summary with a colleague to see if there are any “red flags” in your data message and discuss your findings in this reflection.
Cite web pages, documents, individuals, and other resources you accessed to collect information for your Case Study: Part 2 project.