Describes the data-driven Accelerating Student Progress, Increasing Results & Expectations (ASPIRE) program, which rewards educators for middle school students' academic growth relative to expectations. Reviews challenges, outcomes, and lessons learned.
- Successful Strategy: Value-added scores are moving in a positive direction in almost all cases, with the lowest quartile of teachers showing higher-than-expected levels of student academic growth
- Observation: Having up-to-date data allows schools to identify and address students with learning deficiencies
- Observation: Principals are using the data to identify those teachers who are the highest performers and studying what makes them so successful in the classroom
- Challenge: Initial communications with teachers were handled poorly, leading to confusion and questions about the pay-for-performance programs