Platform helps Ga. districts measure student, teacher performance

By Laura Devaney
October 15th, 2015

Unify from Performance Matters offers implementation help, early warning indicators

performance-mattersIn many states, a majority of teachers, for at least part of the instructional day, teach subjects that are not assessed by state tests. To measure a teacher’s impact on student learning in these non-tested subjects, Georgia school systems are implementing Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), an approach that can be effective but that can be complicated and labor-intensive.

To streamline the SLO process and provide schools with integrated solutions for assessment and data management, a rapidly growing number of Georgia districts are turning to Performance Matters.

Most recently, the Glynn County School System, Greene County Schools, Macon County School System, and Washington County Public Schools have partnered with Performance Matters to implement the Unify assessment platform, SLO Module, and Early Warning System.

“Our previous assessment platform had several limitations. One was that it didn’t have a way to measure student growth on SLOs from the pre-assessment to the post-assessment. Another was that it couldn’t communicate with our student information system, which meant we couldn’t retrieve assessment data for state reporting,” said Valerie Whitehead, Ed.D., executive director of testing for Glynn County School System.

This fall, Glynn County will begin using Unify to provide a collaborative technology platform for the development, review and administration of quality assessment content. In addition, the district will roll out the SLO Module to provide expanded capabilities for the creation, management and monitoring of SLOs. It will also launch the Early Warning System, a customizable reporting and filtering module that integrates with Unify and helps educators identify students who are at-risk or likely to become at-risk.

“Performance Matters has a firm foundation in assessment and data analysis. More important, they have been a true partner in working with us to create a platform that matches our needs,” said Whitehead. “Having these integrated systems will ensure everyone is looking at the same data, so we can have data-driven conversations across the district. With this information, we believe that teachers’ planning time and students’ learning time will be more focused and effective.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura