Dr. Douglas L. Ragland
The assessment practices in the school systems I supervised promoted in depth learning by having teachers and administrators analyze and incorporate course of study mastery skills for respective grade levels in lesson plans, execution of the curriculum alignment process in regards to current and future readiness levels of students, address and focus on school improvement data for improvement in lesson plans, study demographics and mastery of skills of students on standardized tests, create a plan and set benchmarks for students to master skills and evaluate students in this regard on a weekly basis, assess writing assessment test data and provide activities in writing to enhance skill deficiencies in this area, teach and re-teach those areas of non-mastery, develop lessons on inferential reading and writing skills in an effort to stimulate higher order and critical thinking skills, and develop teaching strategies that correlate with students best success for learning in terms of auditory, visual and kinesthetic practices or modes of delivery, and the like. The support provided to teachers to help students progress were professional development workshops geared towards the areas where academic improvement needed to occur, resources provided for teachers to have up to date technology for students as well as themselves in creating theoretical and practical environments of teaching and learning, enhancing professional development by mentoring and collaborative efforts via communication as to what successful teaching strategies needed to be employed, and purchasing of assessments to evaluate and enhance student learning and the like. In the school systems I supervised, we relied heavily on research practices and data based decision making to get optimum results in student achievement. We had various leadership teams inclusive of all faculty members analyzing data, and creating strategies for success, as well as goals and objectives to be attained by students individually and collectively. We participated in and developed initiatives as a team that were apropos to the goals and objectives of the respective school improvement plans for each school. All decisions made and initiatives created for student success were indeed based on data and successful research. Our saying simply was that the data does not lie and we developed best practices based on the planning premise: where we were, where we want to go and how we are going to get there. Out theme in the districts I supervised was “Together Everyone Accomplishes More” and we emulated that theme in the respective schools and the school district as a whole. This is in essence my synopsis of how we carried out curriculum and instruction in the school districts I supervised.