Essay: Action Research the District

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Action Research

The District is revising its teacher evaluation program and is looking at the possibility of 35% of the evaluation done through student achievement. Teachers will then need to create student growth objectives (SGO) which will require a pre-assessment do set up benchmarks. Problematically, the District delayed the implementation and chose not to create universal assessments, which then hinders both benchmarking and final analysis of SGOs at the end of time period in question.

Significance -- In order to have any meaningful summative assessment goals, one must have both an adequate benchmark (where the student began) and a summative assessment at the end of the prescribed time period. Goals for the curriculum period thus need to be based on agreed upon standards from the District, and then a plan to get the students from Point A (Benchmark) to Point Z (Summative Assessment for period in question). Since curriculum standards and tactical implementation (SGOs) will be based on overall assessments, the benchmarking (pre-testing) and summative assessment (post-testing) are vital components to ensure a proactive and appropriate approach (Herman, et al., 2010).

Research -- The purpose of the research will determine what pre and post assessment tools are the most efficacious when dealing with District X's curriculum standards and appropriate levels of SGOs. In the interest of student learning, it would be unethical to exclude a control group from all pre and post testing within a sample. Instead, a better approach would be to use a mixed-method model to find which pre and post assessment tools were the best indicators of needed information. In addition, to lessen the complexity of the study and to still provide learners with needed tools, it would be best to limit the assessments to 3 groups based on difficulty and thoroughness -- thus Pre and Post A, Pre and Post B. And Pre and Post C. Ideally, more than one classroom and more than one grade would be used, and within each classroom students would be divided into three groups, attempting to ensure that groups were composed of a standard curve of learners (exceptional, bright, average, and challenged) (See: Koshy, 2009).

Methodology -- The overall approach to the issue should be based on an Action Research paradigm because this is both a current problem and a collaborative effort. The basic idea of action research is to solve an immediate problem, or to reflect on a larger problem. The process may be individual or team oriented, but all designed to improve the way issues and problems are handled in specific situations. The overall paradigm for action research involves actively participating in organizational change while, at the same time, conducting research on the problem or issue. It is an interactive inquiry process that balances the way problems are solved with data-drive analysis that helps guide the research through knowledge. The difference between action research and traditional social science research is that active research moves beyond reflective knowledge created by others to real-time data collecting, inquiry, analysis and actionable items (Bradbury, 2007).

For this study, a mixed method approach is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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