Now that we have RTI in place, we assess students regularly. The assessments are pointed and take little time, yet yield helpful information with regard to skill development in numeracy and literacy. Each time we receive the scores, I quickly examine the results to see who has improved and who has not. Then I analyze my approach related to both groups, and make instructional practice decisions in collaboration with colleagues.
Rather than judging a teacher related to the scores, our school system is looking at the scores as a way of informing instruction--a means to provide each student with apt instruction that leads to growth. Skill development in the early years is complex. While some students gain skills in reading, writing and basic math with ease, others struggle. Understanding the struggle and matching that with responsive instruction is both a science and art, and is best done with the consult of colleagues.
Hence when the scores don't grow, it's time to look deeper and determine new approaches to instruction that help those children succeed.