To create a successful performance-based classroom, educators must be aware of multiple elements that affect learning within that environment


Students’ learning is affected by academic as well as nonacademic factors. Enabling them to achieve their full potential requires integrating learning outcome data with information about special needs, interventions and social/emotional factors.

During my time as a classroom teacher, I quickly realized there were many technology tools for managing students’ academic data but few for tracking nonacademic factors that also play a critical role in classroom management.

In fact, 30 years of research indicates that classroom management is rated first in impact on student achievement. Well-managed classrooms allow teachers and students to stay on task and facilitate lesson delivery, learning, and constructive communication. Conversely, a poorly managed classroom is prone to disruptions and discipline issues, which interrupt instruction and adversely affect learning.

In our K-12 educational system, which places an increasing emphasis on academic outcomes each year, we can no longer ignore the link between academic achievement and nonacademic factors such as student behavior. Tracking and managing these factors is not simply a “nice-to-have” capability; it is a “must-have” to create an environment that is truly conducive to learning.

What is so exciting about K-12 classrooms today is that educators have the ability to collect and analyze a variety of data points, so they can make instructional decisions based on an understanding of the whole child. Instructional management solutions can simplify this process by integrating and organizing the data to make it easy to understand, act upon and share.

(Next page: Five ways educators can create performance-based climates)