Performance-driven education in the classroom

At the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation set out to better understand the role of performance-driven education in Charlotte-Mecklenburg (CMS) classrooms. We took a documentary-style approach to examining attitudes and classroom data practices among eleven different teachers in five different schools. We wanted to:

  • Document teachers’ cultural, behavioral and procedural shifts in response to the transition to more data-intensive instructional model
  • Study the importance of capacity building and stakeholder engagement in the context of the district wide transition to performance-driven education
  • Share the lessons learned about ways of supporting teachers in effective use of student data.

What we discovered was that, overall, CMS has managed to create an educational culture in which teachers and administrators alike embrace data in the richest sense. But, as with any major shift rolled out systemwide, we also saw teachers who expressed frustration and the feeling that, while they had new tools, they didn’t yet have the expertise or training to use them to make a difference in the classroom.

At the end of several trips, countless hours of interviews, and many more hours of research, writing and editing videos, we ended up with a case study and seven video vignettes. We’d love to hear what you think.

Click here to download the written case study.