Nelson, M., & Eddy, R. M. (2008, Spring). Evaluative thinking and action in the classroom. New Directions for Evaluation, 117, 37-46.
This chapter presents a case study of a low-achieving California middle school where teachers and administrators facilitated significant improvements in student performance by enhancing evaluative skills at the school level. The authors describe the specific processes that helped foster this change including collaboration between teachers, continued professional development, use of multiple assessment measures, incorporation of an electronic data-management system, and involvement of multiple stakeholders in understanding how assessments guide instruction. The authors analyze these changes in relation to No Child Left Behind and evaluation capacity building, noting that despite mandated requirements, most new teachers enter the field without the skills to analyze student achievement data and use them to guide instruction. The authors conclude that implementing these changes is a long-term process and schools must develop these practices in response to local needs.
Culture of Collaboration, Multi-level Data Use, Transformation Plan