School Turn-Around Takes Hard Work and the Right Research-Based Tools

Something done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill is the definition of achievement. Achievement is a process, a process that involves many aspects and typically not completed in one step. One might say it takes a village to nurture and raise a child. We know it takes many to teach and enlighten a child. The cornerstone of educating encompasses many people dedicated with a single goal, improving student achievement.

As part of the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona, Red Mesa Unified School District (RMUSD) was in need of finding a combination of leadership, impactful training, research-based tools, and instructional improvement technology to help guide their academic plan. In 2017-18 RMUSD contracted with the Center for Student Achievement to provide school improvement and turn-around services to all teachers and school leaders. As part of the services employed by the District was the implementation of the Galileo K-12 Online instructional improvement and effectiveness system by Assessment Technology Incorporated. With Galileo, the district had reliable and valid data to assist in decision making at the student, class, school, and district levels. After one full year of support, math scores for all grades increased by nearly 30 percentage points and the 2018 AzMERIT math passing rate for the Junior High was 33 percent higher than previous years.

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Case-study results are from RMJH’s Galileo benchmark assessments designed to track student progress and to predict how students might do on AzMERIT.

Galileo assessments were administered during the 2017-18 school year using a pre-test/post-test design, including several benchmark assessments throughout the year. The case-study results are from RMJH’s Galileo benchmark assessments designed to track student progress and to predict how students might do on AzMERIT (Arizona’s standards-based assessment).

How did RMUSD turn their schools around? Read the full article that details the importance of high-quality professional development, coaching, and data driven instructional planning in making a successful educational turn-around. The turn-around was not completed in one step. It was a series of steps and actions that took skill, further professional development, reliable/valid data, and a focused effort on the part of all participants.

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