White Paper: INSIDE ISD, Fall 2008 [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Newsletter by Hope Katz Gibbs with Peter Noonan
Design by Michael Gibbs
Fairfax County Public Schools
Fall 2008: DATA-DRIVEN INSTRUCTION

Click here to read the entire Fall issue of INSIDE

“When it comes to maximizing student performance, concepts like data-driven instruction are often bandied about in education circles as the ‘new thing,’ writes Fairfax County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Peter Noonan in the Fall 2008 issue of INSIDE, a quarterly newsletter for his Instructional Services Division. “This suggests that perhaps the idea isn’t sound, or it will likely go out of favor when another educational fad becomes more popular.”

Nonetheless, he adds, he has long been a proponent of this concept, and knows that with technological tools such as eCART principals and educators can successfully use data to help all students master the curriculum. “A tool like eCART helps educators thoroughly and concretely understand where students stand in the core subjects so they can intervene in the areas where kids are struggling, and enhance learning opportunities in the areas that they have already mastered,” he explains.

In the additional pages of his 6-page newsletter, we interview three Fairfax County Public Schools principals who have used eCART with tremendous success.

Mount Vernon High School Principal Nardos King
Thoreau Middle School principal Mark Greenfelder
Mount Eagle Elementary School Principal Brian Butler

When it comes to better understanding data-driven instruction, these educators say there is no substitute for studying and learning from the experts. They recommend the following books to learn more about the topic:

PETER NOONAN recommends:
• Checking for understanding: Formative assessment techniques for your classroom, by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey
• How to give effective feedback to your students, by Susan Brookhart

NARDOS KING recommends:
• Professional Learning Communities at Work, by Richard DuFour and Robert Eaker
• Transformative Assessment, by W. James Popham
• Assessment for Learning an Action Guide for School Leaders, by Stephen Chappuis, Richard J. Stiggins, Judith Arter and Jan
Chappuis

MARK GREENFELDER recommends:
• The Art and Science of Teaching, by Robert Marzano
• Learning By Doing, by DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, et al
• Test Better Teach Better, by James Popham

BRIAN BUTLER recommends:
• On Common Ground, by DuFour, DuFour, and Eaker
• The Servant, by James Hunter