Critical Issue: Guiding Principals—Addressing Accountability Challenges

This Critical Issue was written by Albert Bennett, Ph.D., Harold Washington Professor of Educational and Public Policy and Director of St. Claire Drake Center for African and African-American studies at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL.

ISSUE: Students, parents, teachers, as well as school principals, often feel victimized when test scores are used to make decisions that impact their lives. This feeling sometimes emanates from a lack of understanding and experience in using multiple forms of student performance data to inform decisions. If they understood the importance of collecting, analyzing, and using different data, not only to measure student learning, but also to plot future education, all would be less likely to feel victimized. As leaders, principals face a dual challenge: acquiring the knowledge they need to understand data-driven decision making, for which their preservice and inservice training did not prepare them, as well as guiding their learning community through the changes in attitude and behavior the high-stakes accountability environment demands.

This Critical Issue offers a brief overview of the current high-stakes accountability environment to set its context. It then states the core of its leadership message: Principals need not be victims controlled by this environment. Following this attitudinal directive, the author outlines seven guiding principles administrators can use to transform themselves from victim to victor, in order to harness the value of data-driven decision making, to empower their learning community in the process, and, together, to improve their schools.


Overview | Goals | Action Options | Pitfalls | Different Viewpoints | Cases | Contacts | References
Photo of Sabrina Laine Associate Director Sabrina Laine, Ph.D., who oversees NCREL's Educational Decision Support Systems and author of "Professional Development in Education and the Private Sector: Following the Leaders," believes school principals are realistic about the challenges and opportunities high-stakes accountability poses.
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OVERVIEW: During a meeting of school administrators convened by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, principals reported that they want their schools to be accountable (De Blois, 2001). But at the same time, many expressed concern that standardized testing is gaining a life of its own, and they will have little chance to prevent this movement from making mistakes that can hurt both the students and the process of learning. They also were in consensus that parents and students need to be able to rely on knowledgeable and skilled professionals to explain and interpret both the importance and the meaning of these measures in the overall educational process.

Photo of Al Bennett Albert Bennett, Ph.D, Harold Washington professor of Educational and Public Policy and Director of St. Claire Drake Center for African and African-American studies at Roosevelt University, Chicago, emphasizes the value of principals having opportunities to talk to each other as they face new challenges.
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Their dilemma became clear: Since previous levels of preservice and inservice training to assess student performance hadn't prepared them for the high-stakes testing environment, how would they provide strong leadership while simultaneously assessing and addressing the impact standardized testing is having communitywide?

It is a dilemma that requires a timely solution. By all accounts, the use of standardized test data to make decisions about schools is here to stay. Beginning with the 2005-06 school year, the No Child Left Behind Act (reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) requires that states do the following:

The public's strong, if cautionary, support is bolstering the federal government's focus on testing. A recent Gallup poll (Gallup, 2001) reported that 53 percent of respondents favored use of a single test to decide grade-to-grade promotions, and 57 percent favored the use of a single test in the decision to grant a diploma. A poll by Public Agenda (2000) also showed strong support for higher standards, yet stopped short of supporting a single test to determine promotion. The Public Agenda survey probed respondents' views by asking whether parents would stick with higher standards—and the consequences—even if their own children were held accountable. Two out of three (68 percent) would approve even if it meant their own children would be held back a grade; however, 78 percent concurred that such standardized test scores should be used in conjunction with teacher evaluation when making promotion decisions.

There is little doubt the public eye is keenly focused on school principals to deliver results. Expressed succinctly, "Accountability is not just another task added to the already formidable list of the principal's responsibilities. It requires new roles and new forms of leadership carried out under careful public scrutiny while simultaneously trying to keep day-to-day management on an even keel" (Lashway, 2000, p.13).

Such scrutiny extends to principals and superintendents' growing responsibilities in governance, that "system of directing affairs of political administration" (Detrich, 2001, p. 5).

Detrich points out that "superintendents can no longer avoid addressing the politics of education head-on or continue to perceive the impact of politics as minimal," (p.4) adding, "the challenge at the local level is to be responsive to the increasing political inputs for which superintendents will be held accountable. What effect those decisions will have on the quality of teaching and learning remains to be seen. What is evident is that states and districts will be asked to respond soon, as conversations of increased accountability are currently occurring at the federal and state levels." (p. 5)

This focus on high-stakes testing and accountability is intense. According to national education policy writer Anne Lewis, high-stakes testing refers generally to any assessment used for accountability that has significant consequences. Applied to school improvement, high-stakes testing has consequences for students, their schools, their districts, and to a degree, their teachers and principals.

Consequences for students include whether they pass or fail, whether they qualify for a diploma, and/or whether they are granted access to specific programs. Consequences for schools and districts include which receive awards for high performance, and which are granted additional funding to try to improve low scores. For low-scoring schools, consequences may include loss of accreditation, reconstitution, or closure (Lewis, 2000).

Such intensity has its down side. This environment may be contributing to negative behaviors, such as cheating. In New York, a number of teachers and administrators were placed on paid leave after it was determined that they helped students cheat on standardized tests (Mejia, 2000).

Time magazine reported that allegations of cheating have come from schools in California, Florida, Maryland, and Ohio. Reporter Jodie Morse (2000) wrote, "A common line of defense among these teachers: They cracked under pressure" (p. 34).

In addition to instances of cheating, others lament the negative effect testing has had on creativity in the classroom and the narrowing of the curriculum. New York Times Editorial Page Editor Gail Collins (2001) reported that a very popular unit on hurricanes taught at a Scarsdale, New York, middle school was abruptly dropped. The reason offered by its teachers was that the state of New York doesn't test eighth graders about hurricanes.

There also is evidence that some principals and teachers feel trapped and unsupported by the new and unexpected demands evolving from high-stakes testing, which may discourage others from entering the profession, in the face of the growing need for more principals and teachers. Potential educators may prove less willing to enter a profession that requires a personal and professional price that might result if their students do not achieve on standardized tests. Bonstingl (2000) reflects that concern when arguing, "Capable, dedicated educators, victims of the new American plague of high-stakes testing, are losing their careers or are personally dispirited, lying low, and awaiting retirement" (p. 8).

Finally, there is evidence of a growing discontent from students who are also feeling the impact that high-stakes testing has on their curriculum. In Boston during June 2001, 25 teenagers marched to the office of the of then Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci demanding that he sit for the same standardized test they were required to take—a test that decides which students graduate from the state's public schools.

In such an atmosphere, how can school principals ensure that their learning communities thrive in the high-stakes accountability environment? How can they create a culture and processes in which positive outcomes outweigh negative reactions?

A valid starting point is a core change of attitude from victim to victor. School leaders need not be victims of high-stakes testing. Principals can avoid the "shock" of single-test results if they learn how to use a range of performance measures that can inform and assist in decision making throughout the school year. McClean (1995) suggests that "implementation of a complete program of data collection and use can lead to the improvement of education as has no other educational innovation of the last century" (p. 80).

The shift away from being controlled by data-driven standards and toward learning to harness the power of data-driven decision making can have a profound effect on students and professional staff. A change of attitude can segue to a change in behavior. For the school principal, providing the kind of training and support the learning community needs to move from victim to victor mindset is a major challenge. Complicating this challenge is timing. In many instances, principals will have to learn how to use data at the same time that they are providing the opportunities for their staffs to do the same.

Further complicating the difficulty of leading is the shifting nature of the principal's role itself (Hurwitz, 2002), evidenced in part by a growing body of literature concerning the subject. It would seem that the ideal school principal is one who can combine traditional site management (Cuban, 1988) with insightful instructional leadership (Supovitz, 2001), blend decisive solo action with distributed management, foster a culture that is both safe and supportive yet encourages risk and embraces change one that heeds the lessons of corporate management yet retains the unique strengths of a learning community.

Principals traditionally have met challenges head on. They still do. However, today's principal must prioritize among many challenges. As Goldring and Greenfield (2002) report, "The context of educational systems is complex, dynamic, and fluid, suggesting numerous scenarios that could influence the ways in which leaders enact their roles and manage dilemmas" (p.15).

This Critical Issue suggests that to move from being reactive to proactive—from victim to victor—requires an initial emotional shift of attitude, a subsequent mental adjustment, and ultimately the development of a plan of action. High-stakes accountability poses both a formidable challenge and an exciting opportunity. It both requires new learning and opens the door to new learning among members of its learning community. It demands and also empowers principals to mirror those attitudes and actions they hope to instill.

The following guiding principles are not intended to comprehensively address the leadership issues, attitudes and behaviors required to effectively guide schools through the high-stakes accountability environment. Extensive research addressing the changing role of school principals suggests a dynamic evolution of ideas about what it means to lead schools in the 21st century. Review and reflection on the expanding body of literature on this subject will foster future refinement. Rather, the following seven guiding principles are offered as a starting point and potential springboard to bolster school principals' own initiatives as they confront the challenge and welcome the opportunities that lie ahead.

Guiding Principle 1
Vision: See the forest. Tend the trees.

Previously, school administrators were required to shape their schools' visions. Today they are required to engage the community in the vision-shaping process.

"It seems that principals of improving schools send out a two-part message. The first part says, 'We will have a common vision of student learning and we will live up to it.' The second part says, 'We will work together to determine what that vision should be and how it will change what we do'." (Lashway, 2000, p. 12)

In the high-stakes accountability environment, the school principal must simultaneously visualize the future of the learning community while meeting the adjustment needs of those he leads. He or she also must ensure that all participants are informed and engaged in the process.

It is important for principals to take the lead in negotiating a common definition of accountability with realistic expectations, ensure a flow of information, and negotiate for necessary resources (Lashway, 2000). Consequently, the use of data should not be separate from the overall school vision. It must be intrinsic, and it must be communicated as part of the reconceptualized school vision, which is likely to include a full complement of extended learning opportunities before and after school, and during summers.

In terms of action, this means that principals must promote consensus among stakeholders, yet be willing to step in decisively when decisive action is required. They must move the community forward, while accommodating a range of attitudes toward change itself. Celebrating milestones gains significance as a means to achieving this dual role. In short, today's principals are charged with shaping not just school vision, but school culture.

Photo of Joan Vydra Joan Vydra, Briar Glenn School principal in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, sees culture as critical.
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Guiding Principle 2
Community: Let go of solo.

"Accountability, by definition is about a school's obligation to society, so it will never be just an internal matter. ...The principal is the point person in responding to community concerns and at the same time proactively telling the school's story" (Lashway, 2000, p.13). However, in the past, accountability was a matter less complicated and less public. If principals determined the needs of their specific learning community and met them, this approach was feasible. But in a learning community driven by high-stakes testing, it is not. In a high-stakes accountability environment, comparisons of scores to other schools are inevitable and test-driven decisions have a ripple effect on the community. Accountability must be shared among all participants because far-ranging results depend on cooperation and collaboration.

For some principals, this will require rethinking their delegating strategies. For others, it will require providing more professional development to staff in order that delegation of responsibility can occur. For many principals, it will require a mental shift from shouldering the accountability responsibility to sharing the accountability responsibility.

Guiding Principle 3
Professional Development: Mine the wealth within.

In the past, school administrators could determine professional development needs in a variety of ways by using factors over which they had varying degrees of control, such as the demographics of their school system, the preservice training their staff had received, the needs of their school for specific teaching expertise. However, the requirements of No Child Left Behind impact every level of every school community. In this light, professional development takes on a new urgency.

School administrators face a renewed imperative to assess the professional development needs of their learning community, beginning with themselves. What training is required in order that they and their staff understand how collecting, analyzing, and using data apply to measuring student learning? What training is required to see its relevancy in plotting the future course of education? What must change in order to allow the new learning to occur?

Among many professional development needs, perhaps none is more critical in the high-stakes accountability environment than the need to understand and analyze data in order to align assessment, standards, curriculum, and instruction. "When assessments are not aligned with each other, the curriculum, or the standards prescribed by the state or district, there is no sense that they are working together to provide an overall picture of student achievement. Teachers find themselves giving more than one test covering the same material. Students are asked to take tests on material that has not yet been covered in class" (Cromey, 2000, p. 5).

Curriculum mapping is one means to that end. Curriculum mapping compares what the curriculum delivers to the standards adopted by the school, often those delineated by the school's district or state. It pinpoints specific gaps in which standards are not being sufficiently addressed by the curriculum, as well as pinpointing parts of the curriculum that are unnecessarily being repeated in adjacent grades or in the same grade. "Results of this process, when aggregated across all assessment used in a school, can be used to determine whether the assessments are providing a balanced evaluation of student achievement across the curriculum" (Cromey, 2000, p. 5).

Guiding Principle 4
Governance: Policy matters…more.

Detrich (2001) acknowledges that the growing focus on accountability may leave districts feeling "overwhelmed or intruded upon in their work. For many local leaders, the influence of politics has been perceived as separate from the work of educating children at the schoolhouse or even district levels." (p.23) However, the author makes a strong case that "Placing student learning at the heart of the enterprise is something that must be done within the arena of politics, not despite it."

Guiding Principle 5
Integrity: Stand and deliver.

Amidst the kind of systemwide change that high-stakes accountability requires, school principals can't afford to wait for questions or potential problems to surface. They must anticipate them. Setting goals for self, student, staff, school, and community is indeed a start point as well as a traditional strength of most school principals. However, today's principal faces an additional challenge: mirroring the dynamics of data-driven behavior. That is, principals must continually reassess their communitywide goals for effectiveness and relevancy; share that assessment within the community; and shift into action that addresses changing needs as they emerge.

This also means delivering on promises. Thomas J. Sergiovanni (2000) argues that a "responsive system of rigorous accountability" (p. 11) can be created if educators adopt a shared approach to accountability with a strong local component. "Moving in this direction will require that schools make known what their purposes are, make promises to the public as to what they hope to accomplish, engage in rigorous inquiry to ensure that promises are kept and invite public scrutiny of their intents, actions and results" (p. 11).

Guiding Principle 6
Judgment: Expect the best. Forget the rest.

It is possible that the pressures to perform well in the high-stakes accountability environment will tempt a learning community to make it "easier" for students to score well by lowering the challenge of their curriculum. In fact, evidence suggests the opposite is true. Research indicates that teachers who give challenging assignments get higher-quality student work (Iseminger, 1999). A recent study on Chicago public high school student enrollment and performance (Newmann, F. M., Bryk, A. S., & Nagoaka, J. K., 2001), published by The Consortium on Chicago School Research, indicates that more challenging work has a positive impact on student performance.

Photo of Joan Vydra In Briar Glenn School, Community Consolidated District 89, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, principal Joan Vydra has enforced the mantra, "Good enough never is."
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High expectations apply to staff, too. As today's principals guide their learning communities through the high-stakes accountability environment and the systemic change it requires, they can't afford to tolerate what Deal and Peterson (1999) call toxic subcultures within their school.

Staff members who hold pessimistic visions for education and their schools can be significant barriers to implementing the goals that derive from the school's positive vision. All schools have cultures—the underlying set of norms, values, and beliefs that shape how people think, feel, and act. In most cases, the school culture is positive, but it can become negative and "toxic." According to Deal and Peterson, staff members in toxic cultures exhibit the following behaviors:

Building a positive, shared vision in a toxic culture or in a school with negative subcultures is extremely difficult. But, as Fullan (2002) points out, leaders, staff, and administration, should work to "reculture" the school. This may involve confronting negativity and underlying assumptions head-on. It may require working with existing staff to help them become more collaborative, to believe in their students, and to support the core vision of the school. It also necessitates a careful and focused hiring process that recruits, selects, and develops staff who not only have fine teaching skills, but who believe in the school's vision as well (Deal & Peterson, 1999).

Guiding Principle 7
Assessment: Speak in data. Harness its power.

Learning to understand data and make decisions based on that understanding can seem a daunting task, complicated by the knowledge that the high-stakes accountability environment requires it. One means of demystifying the task is to view data much like the "words" of a language. On the topic of data as a language, researcher Arie van der Ploeg, senior program associate, Center for Educational Decision Support Systems, NCREL, explained two specific ways in which numbers, like words, "speak:" visualization and comparison.

Visualization

As language is a means by which speakers visualize, numbers in graphs, maps and charts allow numbers to be seen in relation to each other, creating a shared picture about which viewers can share opinions.

In an interview with Pathways (personal communication, August 27, 2002), van der Ploeg explained that a basic problem with understanding data is the move from letters to numbers. "We often get intimidated because we move from A-B-Cs to 1-2-3s; or worse, from X-Y-Zs to Alpha-Gamma-Theta. "So, what can you do to simplify? We can move from specific symbols to a map, a picture, a display of the symbols. Imagine you have some numbers in an Excel spread sheet. You've got a button on screen that has a graph on it. Click it and it allows you to paint graphs. Pretty soon your numbers will make a line or they will make a chart or they will make a scatter plot and, if you stare at that long enough, you'll actually begin to see some things.

"That is really good, because a couple things happen. One—You aren't bothered about arguments over the value to, say, the third value to the left of the decimal point. You are going to be arguing about the larger scale picture; about, perhaps, this bar is 14 times as high as this other bar so that must mean something. In pictures we see this contrast. We see this automatically—which we don't see when we just look at numbers. So, make the data "talk" to you. Make sense of if" (personal communication, August 27, 2002).

Comparison

As language is a way to both express and compare oneself to others, so too, is data. Comparison is a major piece of the grammar of language. Comparison is a major piece of the grammar of data.

Van der Ploeg suggested that both verbal and numerical grammar is learned by experience and is acquired "on the fly when you need it. You won't have the grammar right the first time but that grammar slowly engrains as you use it more. Data needn't be different from that process."

Underscoring comparison as a major reason for using any language, he said, "Comparison objectifies 'you' and 'them' and then you can exchange. No number, no artifact has more guarantee to be right than any other number or artifact. When you have one watch in a room you know exactly what time it is. When you have two watches in a room, you know exactly what time it is NOT. That's a really important difference. If you only have one number, you think you know what time it is. But, you don't know if you are wrong. And you need to know if you are right.

"Then you have to convert it into a structure that begins to tell stories and then, when you get really good at, you're back in that statistics class you hated to begin with. That is where we DON'T want to take you until you're ready for it. Those are high-powered tools. Just stick with the simple, and acquire the grammar as you need it" (personal communication, August 27, 2002).

Sticking with the simple may also apply to selecting software products. Among an array of products developed to help educators understand data, several commercial data management software programs, currently being used in some schools, look promising. The Quality School Portfolio System (QSP) was developed by the National Center for Research on Evaluation Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA over the last five years. The goal of the software is to help schools (individually and collectively) monitor the progress of their students and to make data-driven decisions to promote school reform efforts that focus on improving student achievement.

The Data Use Web site provides another option for demystifying data. The Web site is designed to give educators—and others involved in using data in a classroom, school, or district—a variety of places to find resources, tools, and action steps to foster school improvement through data use. It contains a step-by-step Data Primer; a user-friendly Guide to Using Data in School Improvement Efforts; information on Data Retreats, two-day opportunities for leadership teams to analyze school data and develop a data-based improvement plan; and an annotated list of Data Resources.

Conclusion

The stakes are high, but school leaders can become victors in the high-stakes accountability environment. They can gain more control and serve their communities better by learning how to use data and share the results with their teachers, parents, and students. Lipsitz, Mizell, Jackson, & Austin (1997) write that data-driven decision making is a necessary element of reform. They assert that "to be productively reflective and analytical, schools must have access to facts—to data—that illustrate the extent to which reform strategies are actually being implemented and the extent to which implemented reform strategies lead to desired outcomes" (p. 536). In this way, leaders can see and realize a viable alternative to simply trying to survive until retirement. They can lead and participate in the creation of schools that thrive in the high-stakes testing environment.


GOALS:

Principals

ACTION OPTIONS:

Victims cannot be leaders. In order to move from victim to regaining their leadership role in schools, principals need to do the following:


IMPLEMENTATION PITFALLS:

The change required of teachers and school leaders to use data for decision making should not be underestimated. Principals who have managed the change process before will most likely be successful here as well. The following are the pitfalls they should anticipate:


DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW:

Not everyone concurs that "What we count is important because it reflects who we are" (Boyle, 2001, p. 161). A great deal of commentary and debate surrounds high-stakes testing. Many arguments against scoring, which is inherent in the high-stakes accountability environment, center on the perception that numbers, data, and/or test scores are insufficient measures of student performance. Further arguments surround the idea of using scores to determine promotion or retention. A 1999 study titled High Stakes by the National Research Council criticized the practice of relying solely on tests to determine graduation or promotion (Hurwitz, & Hurwitz, 2000).

(For further commentary on whether high-stakes testing helps or hinders teaching and learning, visit http://www.ncrel.org/policy/pubs/html/linc_f00/high.htm to read the dialogue with Robert Schwartz, president of Achieve, Inc., and Monty Neill, executive director of FairTest on the issue.)

Others point to instances of "dumb data," arguing that all data is fallible and that errors can have serious consequences. The Chicago Tribune reported a marked increase in data error as business functions become more automated (Fitzpatrick, 2000). Experts interviewed cautioned against reliance on data to inform critical decisions. They suggested that information integrity standards first must be developed to ensure reliability.

Those who find data suspect for use in guiding decisions argue that it disregards critical factors, such as attitude, atmosphere, and access to opportunity. Proponents of data-driven decision making counter that the relevant and careful acquisition, analysis, and application of data does not discount other factors. Such discussions are likely to continue and should be encouraged to expand understanding, address concerns, and ultimately to achieve a balanced view of the high-stakes accountability environment.


ILLUSTRATIVE CASES:

Leaders succeed when armed with knowledge and the ability to use that knowledge to overcome obstacles. Understanding data and its potential to inform decisions is one area of knowledge school principals increasingly will need.

For school leaders interested in examining a well-developed database, the Education Trust's Education Watch Online) is a user-friendly interactive source of national and state data on achievement patterns by race and class, kindergarten through college. Math and science results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) for Grades 4 and 8 are currently available. There is also a tutorial for those who need assistance in analyzing the data.

A number of school districts have made data-driven decision making the centerpiece of their education reform activities. Although it is too early to assess the eventual outcome of these efforts, they are giving school leaders the knowledge they need to properly utilize data for decision making.

The Arizona K-12 Center, a public/private agency with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has as one of its major goals to increase the knowledge of public and private school superintendents throughout the state regarding the use of data and data analysis to make decisions for school improvement. Specifically, the K-12 Center will help superintendents and principals "acquire an understanding of basic concepts and strategies to build the district's and school's capacity about the process and organize student achievement data analysis through the following:

The New York Public Schools and the Chicago Public Schools have contracted with the Grow Network to transform assessment results into tools that enhance instruction. The Grow Network asserts the following: Test results are often delivered to educators and parents in ways that are difficult to understand, have no clear relation to state and local standards, and offer no guidance about how students can improve. The Grow Network attempts to address this issue by providing print and online assessment data that includes the following:

Under the direction of principal Micaela Hansen, Ph.D., Everett Accelerated elementary school in Sioux City, Iowa is one exceptional example of a data-driven school. (Legler & Valish, 2002). It utilizes the data-driven decision making model in its Every Child Reads (ECR) program. The goal is to increase students' reading skills, specifically in the area of comprehension. The school engaged in a two-year training period to learn about action research, a process which includes the collection and examination of class and schoolwide data to direct school improvement. Faculty meetings were used to further instruction.

As a result of several years of this extensive professional development, each teacher at Everett currently collects data within their classroom. To best meet their specific goal of increasing reading achievement in the area of comprehension, a three-person liaison team meets two hours per week to drive professional development through three activities: examining regularly administered tests, coordinating specific classroom assessments, and implementing and measuring improvement techniques and strategies. The triangulation of responsibility in the liaison team helps the school cover all its bases with regard to reading achievement, making sure that their effort is comprehensive.

In addition, staff meetings, called School as a Whole (SAW), occur five times per month for approximately one hour each with the chief goal of professional development surrounding data collection, data analysis, and learning strategies. Through the use of research-based strategies and its data use, the school has made quantifiable progress. Dr. Hansen reported that the school is no longer the lowest performing school in Sioux City on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and has moved up to the middle of the pack in terms of achievement (Legler & Valish, 2002).


CONTACTS

Arizona K-12 Center
Northern Arizona University
2715 North 3rd Street, Suite 210
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1164
Tel. (602) 728-9522
Fax: (602) 728-9529
URL: http://azk12.nau.edu/lit/

Curriculum Mapping
Contact: Michelle Thruman
NCREL
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486
Tel. (800) 356-2735
Fax: (630) 649-6700 URL: http://www.ncrel.org/currmap

The National Dialogue on Standards-Based Education
Contact: Bryan Goodwin 2550 S. Parker Road, Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 632-5602
E-mail: bgoodwin@mcrel.org URL: http://www.nationaldialogue.org

Quality School Portfolio System
Contact: Derek Mitchell dmitchell@cse.ucla.edu
(310) 794-4393
John Lee johnjn@ucla.edu
Tel. (310) 794-9155
CRESST/UCLA
GSE&IS, Mailbox 951522
300 Charles E. Young Drive North
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1522
URL: http://qsp.cse.ucla.edu/mainSub/what/whatRight.html

Additional resources

Achieve, Inc. (April, 2001). Standards and accountability: Strategies for sustaining momentum. Retrieved on September 9, 2002, from http://www.achieve.org/achieve.nsf/StandardForm3?openform&parentunid=250311191B9E438C85256ACA00751C4F

U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. (December, 2000). The use of tests as part of high-stakes decision-making for students: A resource guide for educators and policy-makers. Washington: DC: Author. Retrieved on September 9, 2002, from http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCR/testing/download.html

NCREL's Learning Point magazine (2000) suggests 11 check points that can be used to check whether your school is "data rich."

References

Posted: 2002

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