Advanced proficiency level: 6th Grade Elementary

 

Support materials:
Big Goals Conversation

Overall rating & analysis

Overall rating: Two AP Strands equal an overall AP rating.

Beginning

Advanced

Exemplary

Strand 1: The Big Goal’s appropriateness for all students, reasoned ambitiousness, and sources.

Adopts a broad, generic goal that aspires to be ambitious and feasible for the entire class and achieves that balance for at least half of the teacher’s students

Designs a goal that is both ambitious and feasible for most students, based on reasoning informed by multiple sources, including diagnostic results for mastery goals

Designs feasible, highly ambitious goals that require intense work from each and every student, based on reasoning informed by multiple sources, including diagnostic results for mastery goals

Strand 2: The teacher’s understanding of how accomplishing goals will demonstrate mastery of standards and increase students’ opportunities in life.

Describes how the goal is aligned to key standards and identifies a basic tool of measuring achievement of the goal.

Describes how the goal is aligned to all key standards, explains broadly what students should know, understand or be able to do in order to achieve the goal, and cites the necessary assessment tools (e.g. achievement tests, performance-based assessments, etc.) that will be most meaningful to students’ lives when measuring the different facets of the goal

Describes how the goal is aligned to all key standards, explains the specific and prioritized knowledge and skills that each student will need to master in order to reach the goal – including pre-requisites – and cites a specific set of balanced measurement tools to measure different facets of the goal that will be most meaningful to students’ lives

 

Analysis: Why did the teacher receive these ratings?

Rating: APStrand 1: The Big Goal’s appropriateness for all students, reasoned ambitiousness, and sources.

 

Why AP?

The teacher’s goal is “both ambitious and feasible for most students.” The teacher initially determined its ambitiousness and feasibility using the gap-reduction mode” in which the goal will close the achievement gap between her students and students in high-performing school districts by 20%. The teacher states: “I chose 262 as my scale score because 270 is the average scale score of Wake County Schools, NC, a district in our state widely regarded as excellent. The average score in my school district last year was a 260, so if my students achieve an average of 262, they’d be doing about 20% better than last year compared to the Wake County School students, which my PD agreed would be a reasonable and meaningful closing of the achievement gap. A level IV indicates that students are “consistently performing in a superior manner clearly beyond that required to be proficient at grade level work.” She has the additional goal of “a Level III on the sample NC 7th Grade Writing Test.”

The teacher revisited the goal after examining diagnostic data to ensure that this goal was still ambitious and feasible for most students: “Well, my students’ starting points were all over the map, but after talking to my program director, other corps members and veterans at my school, I decided it was appropriate to keep my initial Big Goal and instead use the diagnostic information to inform my planning. Mastering all of the standards required for the big goal would mean that my students’ skills would grow by 1.5 to 2 years this year, and all of the people I spoke with said that this was possible. However, about 40% of my students were between 1 and 1.5 years behind—and I’ve adjusted my EOG goal to 264 for them to ensure that it’s ambitious.”

The teacher’s big goal is informed by “multiple sources, including diagnostic results.” In addition to consulting diagnostic data, the teacher consulted data about past performance in her school and a high-performing school district, and her “program director, other corps members and veterans at my school” to determine that her goal balanced ambitiousness and feasibility.

Why not E?

Although the goal sets different mastery targets for two sub-groups of students in the class, the teacher has not created individual mastery targets for students and therefore may not have a "goal that is feasible" and "highly ambitious" requiring "intense work from each and every student." There may be students in the class who would require a higher, lower, or more differentiated goal than the goals set for the subgroups to best target the nexus of "feasible" and "highly ambitious."

Rating: APStrand 2: The teacher’s understanding of how accomplishing goals will demonstrate mastery of standards and increase students’ opportunities in life.

Why AP?

The teacher “describes how the goal is aligned to all key standards.” She explains why she chose the key standards, and how they are aligned to the exam, in the following statement: “To get a 262, students would need to master all of the 6th grade reading comprehension, literary analysis and language conventions standards at 80%, and get 80% of the questions aligned to those standards right. I chose to prioritize those standards because they cover skills that appear in 6th grade standards across the country, and because the students will most need to master those skills to succeed in 7th grade. They’d also need to master about half of the 6th grade Word Study standards at about 80%, and again, get 80% of the questions aligned to those standards right.”

The teacher “explains broadly what student should know, understand or be able to do in order to achieve the goal.” For example, in terms of reading comprehension, she states “Also, for reading comprehension, they’ll need to use good reading strategies, such as comparing and contrasting, predictions, connections, drawing conclusions and asking questions to increase understanding.”

The teacher “cites the necessary assessment tools that will be most meaningful to students’ lives.” She plans to supplement the NC EOG with the NC Writing Assessment Scoring Model Content and Conventions Rubric to ensure that she measures all aspects of her goal. This state-wide assessment is meaningful because “Since, the EOG test is a norm referenced test, this Big Goal represents a shift in academic/life path for students because when reached, it will mean that my students are performing much closer to the level of wealthier districts in our state. Also, when my students achieve the big goal, they will be in the top percentile of students across the state.”

Why not E?

The teacher does not explain “the specific and prioritized knowledge and skills that each student will need to master in order to reach the goal.”