For Jeff Potts, data drives education. The more data administrators and teachers have about students, the better they can prepare them for the future.
Data is one of the reasons Potts is an advocate of ACTs QualityCore, a research-based high school instructional improvement program that includes end-of-course assessments, educators resources, aligned formative item pools, and benchmark assessments. QualityCore is designed to help schools provide a rigorous education to all students by ensuring that core courses are focused on the skills essential for college and workforce readiness.
Schools that are interested in doing the best job possible will take a hard look at the datawhether its good or badand let it drive their instruction. Thats been our approach, said Potts, high school principal at Grapevine Faith, a small private school located in Grapevine, Texas.
We have used different instruments to collect data on our students, but QualityCore is just what weve been looking for, because it provides information on a course-by-course basis, with real-time feedback, so we can make flexible decisions regarding our curriculum, said Potts. Im confident that those decisions will lead to results in terms of college and workforce readiness and student performance on the ACT® test. We try to work smarterand QualityCore is working smart.
Grapevine Faith participated in a QualityCore study in May 2008, administering end-of-course assessments to all its high school students. The results will be compared to end-of-course assessment outcomes following this years implementation of the 12 QualityCore courses: English 9, 10, 11, and 12; Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Precalculus; Biology, Chemistry, and Physics; and U.S. History.
Potts credits his staff for the success of the program so far. Our teachers have worked very hard to implement elements of QualityCore into their instruction. Weve created an environment where teachers are willing to look at their students performance and adapt where necessary. They appreciate the feedback QualityCore provides so they can monitor student progress and improve their instruction accordingly.
QualityCores research-based educators resources are helping teachers shape rigorous core content and improve outcomes. The teachers are working to align curricula with the essential knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for postsecondary education or workforce training programs. QualityCore has raised the bar for us in terms of what were doing in each subject, said Potts.
QualityCore will allow teachers to help students realize their full potential, said Potts. Some schools measure success by the number of Ivy League acceptance letters their students receive. At Grapevine Faith, we are focused on individual students and how we can help each one grow academically. The beauty of QualityCore is that it fits seamlessly with our model and provides better, timelier feedback for helping students increase their readiness for the future.
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