to changing the culture of assessment in the school district. It’s vital that everyone in the learning community recognizes the importance of being able to “tell the story” of a child’s success from grades PreK-12. It’s easy to stay in the September to June “comfort zone” and follow a child’s progress from one end of a school year to the other. Can we step back and be willing to follow a child’s progress from Age 5 to Age 18?
The most effective way to energize teachers around the power of long-range longitudinal data analysis is to send teams to other schools already doing good work in this area. These teams would, hopefully, come back to the district and help build a positive energy mass that would, in turn, permeate the rest of the faculty.
I found a wonderful interview with John Wooden (UCLA basketball coach from 1948-1975) in which he talks about children’s success. Coach Wooden speaks to the power of longitudinal data analysis in his opening dialogue when he points out the importance of growth as a measure of success. Watch Coach Wooden talk about success: