“The first step is measurement and making sure that we are explaining to the public the facts about that,” Montgomery County Council member George Leventhal said.
The Evidence of Learning, or EOL, framework determines if students are learning and if they’re learning enough through a trending multiple-measures approach.
“We’ve integrated using classroom, district and external measures to look at the whole system,” said Dr. Jack Smith, Superintendent of MCPS.
So, a sole achievement test no longer dictates student evaluations.
Still amidst the baseline year of the new program, right now officials are analyzing the first step of readiness; come winter, they’ll look at how students transitioned to the next level and then whether or not the student completed that level.
“We’ll repeat that cycle over and over, so we can see if we’re getting kids ready for the next level and if we’re making that transition well so we’re seeing growth over time,” Dr. Smith said.
Collecting and reporting data was a focus point for the council during budget discussions.
They approved the budget as long as the additional funding included data on the academic achievement gap.
“So, what we’re looking for is seeing that there’s been some impact [and] that there’s been some movement,” Montgomery County Council member Craig Rice said. “We certainly want to understand that, because if not, then we want to re-purpose those dollars in other ways to help address the achievement gap.”
While the data is meant to guide change, Rice made sure to emphasize the importance of not acting prematurely, as change can take time.