District Public's analysis and the onsite support they provide really helped our teachers sharpen their instructional focus leading up to the upcoming Regents exam. With the data in hand they were able to identify cohorts of students grouped by the standards they struggled with. Not only did it improve results for students, the approach is helping us instill a more data-driven culture at TAPCo."
--Ron Link, Principal, TAPCo, Bronx, NY
The Theater Arts Production Company School (TAPCo)
Driving instructional improvement
While Principle Ron Link sought to transform his school into New York City's first Science, Technology, Arts and Mathamatics (STEAM) school, he looked for ways to sharpen his teachers' instructional focus. One clear opportunity was to make better use of data the school was already generating. But Link and his staff lacked the time and expertise to create the kind of clear and actionable analysis that could be put to use in the classroom.
District Public started by analyzing the 2014 Global History Regents exam results for TAPCo. District Public worked with Link and lead teachers to develop a package that would answer teachers' burning questions - for example what students who failed struggled with, by topic, question type (multiple choice, short or extended response), and even specific questions. The analysis allowed teachers to group students into cohorts that they could focus on with specific instruction. District Public then repeated the analysis across four other Regents topics - Comprehensive English, Integrated Algebra, Living Environment, and US History.
With the data in hand, Link began to cultivate a culture of data driven instruction at his school. He set up a teacher to conduct daily coaching sessions for teachers to use data more effectively, armed with the District Public analysis. The analysis was used by teachers across the school to prepare students for the upcoming Regents exam - with early results. Algebra Teacher Anna Castelli made exceptional progress with an 11th grade student who had struggled with the exam in prior years. With the information DP provided to Anna, she was able to work with that student on specific areas of challenge. Through their hard work and effort, that student increased his score from a 45 to a 71 (65 is the threshold for passing).
The results showed up in TAPCo's overall test results as well. Passing Rates on the Integrated Algebra Regents Exam increased from 68% to 78% from June 2014 to Jan 2015.