Quint, J. C., Sepanik, S., & Smith, J. K. (2008). Using student data to improve teaching and learning. Findings from an evaluation of the Formative Assessments of Student Thinking in Reading (FAST-R) program in Boston elementary schools. New York: MDRC.
The purpose of this article is to report findings from an evaluation study of the Formative Assessments of Student Thinking in Reading (FAST-R) program implemented in Boston public elementary schools. The program involved short assessments on the ability to locate supporting evidence in a text and to make valid inferences from available information. The program included reports to provide information about student performance and a data coach to help teachers interpret reports and to guide them in responding to student needs. Researchers found that teachers generally had positive reactions to the program, though they did not spend significantly more time on data use or professional development than non-participating schools. Furthermore, researchers did not find significant improvements in students’ reading test performance from program participation. Researchers note, however, that using data to improve instruction is a priority of the entire Boston Public School System and thus, may explain the lack of program effects. They recommend additional research investigating the effectiveness of the FAST-R program.