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Knowledge From the Field

Making State Accountability Count: How New Mexico Supports Principals With Data Tools

Published: October 2008

Publisher(s): Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at University of Washington

Author(s): Feemster, Ron

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

View Report (5 pages; 194KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Accountability


This case study outlines the adoption of data-based accountability in New Mexico schools. While the State made the results of standardized statewide tests available, there was in many schools no system in place to utilize it. A Wallace program to increase data literacy in New Mexico schools was initiated that helped educators and administrators learn to use the data practically. The report offers examples of administrators and schools which have utilized this training and expanded use of academic data to objectively assess student and teacher progress towards reaching proficiency of educational benchmarks.

Key Findings

+ Using data from assessments allows teachers to pick out key areas where additional or alternative instruction is necessary.

+ Individual student data profiles allow educators to pinpoint where an individual or group is proficient or needs additional help.

+ Teachers have concrete evidence of successes or shortcomings in instruction.

- The data state-wide assessments are often not available quickly enough to make useful teaching decisions.

Geographic Focus: New Mexico

Subjects/Keywords: Accountability; educational standards; leadership development; data-driven decision making; educational benchmarks

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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