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Discussion: From Professional Development to Student Outcomes

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posted by: Kathryn Chval on March 12, 1998 at 11:43AM
subject: linking pd to student outcomes
My name is Kathryn Chval.

I'm a principal investigator for the All Learn Mathematics Project in
Chicago. Our project impacts 44 schools. The climate in Chicago
focuses on student outcomes. You may have heard President Clinton
mention the Chicago Schools in the State of the Union Address. He
discussed Chicago's policy on eliminating social promotion as a model
program. Students with low scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills at
the third, sixth, eighth, and ninth grade levels, are retained. Last
year, 75,000 students were retained. Schools are afraid to try
Standards-based instruction. They want to know if it will prepare
students for the tests. In order to "Make the Case" we have had to show
increases in student performance on these tests. For example, at School
A, 31.9% of the students were at or above national norms before the
project began. At the end of year 1, 42.5% were at or above.

A second method we use is classroom observation. Our staff is in a
school every week. They observe the changes in student partipation,
student attitudes, student inquiries, student motivation, etc. These
observations are documented in staff journals.
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