School & District Management

Struggling Schools Get Lessons in Benchmarking

By Lynn Olson — May 03, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Michigan educators recently got a lesson in how to benchmark their work against promising practices in higher-performing schools with similar socioeconomic profiles. Michael Stewart and Larry Fieber of Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services led the first of several two-day workshops, March 21-22. The second took place April 11-12.

Teams of teachers, educational supervisors, and principals from 13 elementary and middle schools struggling to make adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act attended the March institute. Using S&P’s customized data analysis, they completed a self-assessment and identified schools that have higher performance on state tests, despite serving similar student populations.

See Also

Participating schools are partnering with one or more higher-performing sites this spring to identify promising practices—in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and other areas—that are worth adapting or replicating. By the end of June, school improvement teams will attend a follow-up workshop to document their study’s findings and submit their plans to carry out the practices that have emerged.

“There’s lots of research on effective practices,” said Mr. Stewart, the director of performance-evaluation services for the New York City-based S&P, a division of the McGraw Hill Cos. known for its work on stocks and bonds. The objective, he said, is getting schools to be “active versus passive consumers of good information.”

Bypassing Opportunities

Jeremy M. Hughes, the interim state superintendent of public instruction in Michigan, said that while schools have had access to data about comparable schools for four years now through a contract with S&P, “what we learned was that there weren’t a lot of schools taking advantage of that.”

“This becomes the bridge that helps the people connect and gives them the skills to make a good connection, a meaningful one,” he said.

Mr. Stewart described the Michigan institutes, underwritten by a $228,000 grant from the state, as complementing the work of the Austin, Texas-based National Center on Educational Accountability.

The workshops are being offered in partnership with the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, the Michigan Department of Education’s office of school improvement, and the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

“This was a pilot to see how it works,” Mr. Hughes said.

“We are prepared to discuss funding more of [the institutes], depending on what we hear.”

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management 10 Ways to Tackle Education's Urgent Challenges
As the school year gets underway, we ask hard questions about education’s biggest challenges and offer some solutions.
2 min read
Conceptual Image of schools preparing for the pandemic
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Reported Essay Principals Need Social-Emotional Support, Too
By overlooking the well-being of their school leaders, districts could limit how much their schools can flourish.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management From Our Research Center Educator Stress, Anti-Racism, and Pandemic Response: How You're Feeling
A new nationally representative survey offers key takeaways from teachers, principals, and district leaders.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
2021 BI COVER no text DATA crop
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Download 8 Tips for Building a Digital Learning Plan That Conquers Chaos
Craft flexible strategies, encourage experimentation with new instructional models, and regularly solicit feedback.
1 min read
onsr edtech tips
Getty