Creating an Impression Through Evidence Based Intervention Strategies
School improvement refers to the systematic development of a school to improve both its overall structure and workings. This is done by teachers, superintendents, principals, educational professionals, parents, guardians, etc. The methodology of school improvement is an ongoing process; it evolves as new methods and ideas become available, based on empirical evidence and research findings. School improvement incorporates many different practices aimed at transforming the school environment to increase the learning environment, student achievement, and student well-being.
School improvement research
School improvement research usually focuses primarily on identifying latent factors that are associated with (in addition to those described above), student academic performance. The school improvement research tradition, while recognizing the important role that teachers play in shaping the learning environment, also recognizes the important role that parents, guardians, educational professionals, and students have in this process. The emerging school improvement practice therefore, includes the development of individual instructional programs guided by individual lesson goals to be followed by a group of teachers and other individuals who are committed to the overall objective of improved effectiveness and school progress. The goal of school improvement therefore, is to build a school system that has a high degree of effectiveness at improving student achievement.
High School Impact Scorecard
The focus of school improvement practices is on trying to identify and measure latent influences and their relationship to the relevant school activities and policies. One important instrument for such analysis is the High School Impact Scorecard (HSIS), designed by the National Educational Association and School Publishers Association. The HSIS is designed to help educators and school administrators objectively compare school policies and practices that have positive effects on student achievement, thus allowing them to evaluate their effectiveness. The impact score is calculated on a scale that combines the effect on test scores of policy and practice elements of the selected components.
The School Improvement Model (SEM)
The concept of the HSIS was designed to provide a tool for researchers and policy makers to evaluate the effectiveness of school policies and reforms. The key performance indicators that are included in the HSIS include the student progress rate (SJR), student growth indicator (GPI), and school effectiveness score (SES). The aim of the HSIS is to provide a quantitative measurement of the impact of policy and practice changes on student achievement. The School Improvement Model (SEM) drawn up by Dr. Peter Johnson (curator of the Center for School Evaluation in Seattle) and Professor Linda M. Williams (professor at Teachers College, Columbia University) is considered one of the most useful instructional tools for the research purpose.
- School improvement aims at closing the achievement gap between students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those from more affluent families.
- Equity in educational opportunity to participate in the school activities would benefit the entire community, as would a reduction in poverty and an increase in the quality of life.
- The research conducted by the National Association of school psychologists indicates that children who grow up in stable and supportive environments enjoy intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and personality development.
- Thus, the goal of school improvement is not just to give children an equal opportunity, but to ensure that they develop on par with other students from different backgrounds.
An integrated student support system is a key element of the School Improvement Model. One such system is the presence and participation of the local African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian students in all school activities. The presence of students from different ethnic groups in the school can result in a better understanding and appreciation of the classroom work by teachers and other school personnel.
The integrated student
The integrated student supports also allows teachers to address issues in a manner that is consistent with the way that other students of color and ethnicity deal with similar problems. In this way, a lasting impression is created on students, which develops their academic and behavioral skills.
- The School Improvement Model also recognizes the importance of incorporating practices that are culturally relevant into the daily lessons taught by teachers and school staff. In order for such practices to be effective, they must be consistent with the way that the bulk of the population across the country sees and deals with school problems and issues. Thus, integrating evidence-based interventions within the community schools is crucial to the overall effort to promote educational development.
- The School Improvement Model recognizes that the promotion of academic quality relies on the ability of teachers, school administrators, school board members, and parents to adopt practices that are informed by research and grounded in the principles of effective education.
- The School Improvement Model therefore encourages educators to practice these practices in classrooms around the country as a tool for promoting educational development.
These practices are then incorporated into a resource that provides parents and other concerned parties with a tool that is designed to maximize school effectiveness. By maximizing school effectiveness, the School Improvement Model not only drives educational change, but it also creates a lasting impact on students and families nationwide.
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