By DR. NICOLAS TANCHUK
In partnership with PS114 in Brooklyn, our team recently conducted a needs assessment focused on two areas:
As a result, we saw PS114’s pass-rate on NYS tests double from 16% to 32%, and a marked increase in performance among the school’s lowest achieving students, who are also among the city’s lowest third. For the diverse students of this school, many of whom experience economic hardship, and the teachers who work hard to meet their needs each day, this growth was a great source of hope and inspiration.
Here’s how we approached the project:
To address the first goal, we ran pilots using units from JUMP Math, a curriculum written by Dr. John Mighton, an award-winning playwright and mathematician from Canada. After a successful pilot in the 2016-17 academic year, we expanded our use of JUMP to all of PS114 in the 2017-18 school year. Relative to state targets, the school improved from well below the city average for impact on student achievement to above average.
To address the second area of focus, we ran cycles of inquiry — a structured, ongoing process of goal setting, intervention, data collection, analysis, and adjustment of plans — with teacher teams to ensure that we were optimizing our use of the curriculum.
As you improve your own practice, consider: