Recently, I was working with a new LYS High School Principal. We have just completed our first semester supporting her campus and we were reviewing mid-year progress. One piece of data that the principal was excited about was the reduction in the number of teachers who had failure rates greater than 20%. In the Fall of 2009, the campus had 11 teachers with a first semester failure rate greater than 20%. In the Fall of 2010, that number had dropped to just six teachers. That is a dramatic 45% improvement! But it begs the question why and how? So we dug a little deeper. On this campus, there has been a focus on improving the implementation of the Fundamental Five. So we created a PowerWalks report that compared the frequency of the Fundamental Five in the classrooms of the high failure rate teachers against the rest of the campus. What the principal was able to see was that the six struggling teachers are not miles behind the rest of the campus; instead they are 6% to 11% behind the campus. This is important for three reasons. First, it means that the six teachers are not hopelessly out of touch. And in fact, with a little extra direct support, they should be able to quickly close the gaps between themselves and their peers. Second, it illustrates how sensitive students are to even minute changes in adult practice. Finally, it drives home the understanding that student failure has less to do with teacher expectation and more to do with the quality of instruction. How can you not love data? Think. Work. Achieve.Your turn…Visit the LYS Booth at the TASA Mid-Winter Conference

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