1. Springfield Public Schools
First Street Elementary School
2009-2010 School Improvement Plan - Goal 3
May 4, 2010
Report prepared by
Faculty Member, First Street Elementary School
Graduate Student, Master of Educational Technology Program
Boise State University
Report Submitted to
First Street School Improvement Planning Team
The program being evaluated is First Street’s School Improvement Plan, Goal 3, for
2009-2010 (Appendix A). Required by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for
schools in academic status, the submission of a School Improvement Plan is optional
but recommended, for schools that are not (http://www.isbe.net/sos/htmls/school.htm).
In Springfield schools, School Improvement Plans provide structure for continuous
improvement of instruction. SIP Goal 3 is an outgrowth of a 2008-2009 goal which
focused on improving teacher feedback and students’ ability to correctly interpret
teacher feedback. It was found that “while 88.6% of First Street students, including
kindergarten students, met the goal of correctly interpreting their teachers’ feedback on
a specific writing assignment, more instruction and practice is needed in order for
students to understand the link between feedback and subsequent learning and
improvement” (SIP Goal 3, p. 3).
For 2009-2010, the goal was expanded to include student-generated learning goals and
subsequent reflection on those goals. The objective for SIP Goal 3 is that “all students
will learn how to reflect after receiving specific and timely feedback from their teachers;
and all students will learn how to use these personal reflections to generate their own
specific learning goal(s) for their next assignment. When subsequent assignments are
assessed, it will be noted that students tied their improvement to their goal based on
prior feedback” (SIP Plan, p. 3).
The SIP Team identified Reader Response (RR) writing assignments, administered
three times during the year, as the data collection tool. Following each of the first two
iterations of the cycle, data were analyzed and recommendations made to the SIP
Team regarding improvements to this process. Though the primary focus of this
evaluation was ultimately narrowed to student goal attainment, a wider view of Goal 3
components is also presented.
March 8th Evaluator meets with First Street principal to discuss the three
SIP goals and select one to focus on for this evaluation.
March 11th SIP sub-committee meets for preliminary planning.
March 15th Analysis of February work samples begins.
April 7th Presentation of initial findings/recommendations to SIP Team.
April SIP Team brings recommendations to grade level teams, new
work samples are submitted, and data are analyzed.
April 27th Presentation of findings and final recommendations to SIP
May 4th Presentation of checklists and updated guidelines to faculty.
This evaluation and related reports serve several purposes: 1) To determine how
comprehensively SIP Goal 3 has been addressed thus far, 2) To document
recommendations made regarding administration of Goal 3 assessments, 3) To share
February and March Reader Response information and data, and 4) To provide detailed
program information which may be used by First Street’s incoming principal for fall 2010
reporting and goal-setting.
The SIP Team selected Reader Response writing assignments, with work samples
submitted in February, March, and May, as a means of collecting data. The Team
developed a framework for the process that would be followed and established
guidelines for the generation of related documents. Grade level teams used that
information to create grade-specific forms used by teachers and students in grades K -
5 for the Feedback/Goal/Reflection cycle (Appendix E).
For each set of writing assignments, students read a story or article and wrote a
response to a prompt. Teachers provided feedback and used district-approved rubrics
to score responses. Student then reflected on feedback and identified a goal. Next,
students read a second story or article and, with their goal in mind, wrote a response to
another prompt. The teacher graded the second response and students reflected on the
achievement of their goal. While the process followed was the same for all grade levels,
procedures varied from one grade level to another due to the developmental nature of
reading and writing skills and the age-range (K-5) of the students who participated in
this program. Whereas kindergarten teachers provided verbal feedback and acted as
scribes for goal setting, students were expected to be increasingly independent in
successive grade levels and over time.
At the point that the evaluator entered the process, February work samples had been
collected. In initial meetings with the principal and SIP Team, three evaluation questions
1. What modifications can be made to clarify and standardize procedures and
processes teachers and students will follow when completing the next two
Reader Response writing assignments?
2. What data can be extracted from Reader Response work samples/feedback in
order to report on this goal?
3. What additional information/data is needed and how can we collect it?
It was initially expected that all students and classroom teachers would participate: 73 -
kindergarteners, 81 - 1st graders, 82 - 2nd graders, 104 - 3rd graders, 81 - 4th graders, 98
- 5th graders, and 23 teachers. It was found that student participation was not
compatible with the Read 180 program, a replacement program that coincides with
classroom Language Arts instruction.
2009 Data SCHOOL DISTRICT STATE
(Limited English 1.50% 0.70% 8%
Low Income 0.80% 0.30% 42.90%
100% 100% 96.70%
Attendance 96% 95.90% 93.70%
Mobility 3.70% 1.90% 13.50%
Table 1: First Street Educational Environment Figure 1: First Street Demographics
Source: Interactive Illinois Report Card Source: Illinois Interactive Report Card - Profile
• A discrepancy model was used to identify potential gaps between stated
objectives and current practice. SIP Goal 3 (Appendix A) and the fall 2009 Board
of Education Presentation (Appendix B) were used to establish objectives and
evidence was collected through observation and informal interviews.
• February work samples had already been submitted: initial writing assignment,
teacher feedback, rubric scores, and information related to goal attainment.
o Teacher feedback was examined and trends were noted.
o Student goals were examined for quantity, measurability, and to determine
what feedback was used in the goal selection process.
o Student achievement was examined with individual student scores
entered into spreadsheets and mean, median, mode and standard
deviation calculated for each classroom of students.
o Goal attainment was examined via student and teacher reporting and that
information was compared against rubric scores when possible.
• Preliminary findings were reported to the SIP Team on April 7th, along with
recommendations for the next Feedback/Goal/Reflection cycle (Appendix C).
• Based upon April 7th recommendations, some changes were made in the
Feedback/Goal/Reflection process, resulting in greater standardization of
processes and practices within each grade level.
• Work samples from the second iteration of the Feedback/Goal/Reflection cycle
o Student goals were examined, as above, but only for measurability.
Problematic goals were noted.
o Student achievement and goal attainment data collected and entered into
• Findings were reported to the SIP subcommittee (Appendix D) with further
recommendations for the final Feedback/Goal/Reflection cycle.
Copies of documents* may be found in the Appendices.
SIP Goal 3* Document submitted to ISBE includes objectives, strategies, activities and
monitoring process identified to meet the stated goal.
BOE Presentation* PowerPoint presentation to the School Board includes intended processes
and tasks related to SIP Goal 3.
Reader Responses Student work samples; typically the writing prompt is included. Teacher
feedback is frequently written directly on student work.
Rubrics* Grade-specific, district-approved. Teacher feedback is frequently written in
white space on this form.
Feedback/Goal- Grade-specific forms used for students to re-state teacher feedback and
Setting Forms* identify a goal. Some forms include subsequent reflection and space to
indicate whether or not goal was met.
Objectives and Activities
A discrepancy model was used to note differences between objectives stated in SIP
Goal 3, the School Board presentation, and related activities that took place. Additional
details were presented to the SIP Team on April 7th (Appendix C). The focus of this
evaluation is on part A, Student Strategies and Activities. Parts C, D and E, Professional
Development, Parent Involvement, and Monitoring, are not addressed.
All students will learn how to reflect after receiving specific and timely feedback from their
teachers; and all students will learn how to use these personal reflections to generate their own
specific learning goal(s) for their next assignment. When subsequent assignments are assessed, it
will be noted that students tied their improvement to their goal based on prior feedback.
Strategies and Activities:
SIP Goal 3
1. All students will take time to reflect on their teachers’ feedback and will briefly
summarize the main idea of the feedback. ✔
2. Using this reflection statement, students will generate learning goals … ✔
3. Students will generate specific action plans for goal accomplishment … NA
4. Students will generate a plan for self-assessment. NA
5. Students will confer with teachers, demonstrating their understanding of the feedback
and need for improvement. ✔
6. Students will use a reflection and goal setting planner. ✔
• continue to work on using feedback effectively by using their reflection planners with
greater frequency for subsequent assignments.
• practice using feedback on writing assignments across the curriculum. ND
To accomplish this:
• teachers will continue to increase and strengthen the specificity of feedback they give to
• students will need to refer to prior feedback before beginning work on subsequent
• students and teachers will need to assess whether the need, the feedback, the goal and
subsequent improvement are aligned. ✔
Table 2: Discrepancies
KEY: ✔ = Evidence supports that this objective/strategy/activity was adequately addressed.
NA = Evidence supports that this objective/strategy/activity was not addressed.
ND = No data was collected.
Within stated program objectives, four components emerged as topics of interest:
teacher feedback, student goals, student achievement, and goal attainment. For the first
report to the SIP Team, information had been gathered for each of these four topics.
Following the second report, the focus was on goal attainment.
Content of written feedback for the first RR in February was examined. Trends were
noted in relation to patterns, detail, and quantity. It was determined that future focus
would not include feedback, so March information was not collected.
Teacher Overview of Feedback Provided to Students in February
Same feedback across the board. 1st: "Use more of the question in your answer," and/or
1 "Why did Celina feel ___." 2nd: "Remember to use an example to support your answer."
Feedback frequently re-states the rubric and includes a question related to prompt - “How
2 do you know …?”
1st feedback: "You did a good/great job … Next time …" 2nd feedback: "Next time …"
3 Each time comment duplicated rubric info.
Positive statement then "remember to …" 2nd time: Positive statement/goal achieved
4 followed by "keep trying to…" or "let's keep working on..."
5 When feedback on rubric page is the same, comments on student work differs.
Teacher feedback on student pages differs from rubric - adds text as examples plus editing
7 Feedback frequently limited; typically spelling and punctuation.
8 Starts with positives and goes into detail regarding areas of improvement.
9 Feedback limited and brief, underlined words on the rubric.
Spelling, grammar and word choice feedback on student page. Comments (organization,
10 content) on rubric page. Something positive included on each.
Aside from two “answer the question” comments, there is no teacher feedback on 1
11 response. Rubric score for all; different rubrics were used each time.
Feedback is evenly split between spelling/punctuation and content. Comments are most
12 often directives or questions.
No feedback on student work or score sheet. Rubric score for all, occasional editing marks
13 (paragraph, capital) for some.
Detailed written feedback does not duplicate rubric. Mix of positive comments and
14 suggestions for improvement.
15 Feedback typically one sentence plus rubric score, with nothing written on student page.
16 (no work samples submitted in February)
17 Feedback is most often a one-sentence directive and editing marks.
18 Detailed written feedback on student work plus editing marks.
19 Detailed written feedback on student work plus editing marks.
20 Written feedback on 1 , responses not graded (no rubric).
Most have a sentence or two of written feedback on student page. Some are rubric number
21 score only.
Table 3: Summary of teacher feedback
Feedback/Goal-Setting forms were the source of student goal data. The number of
goals each student generated (how many students wrote one goal, how many wrote
two, etc.) was counted as were the number of troublesome goals generated (non-goals,
not measurable). Goals deemed “inappropriate” by schools standards also were noted
and examples are included below. The recommendation was made to limit students to
one goal for May because most students with multiple goals met some goals but not
others, resulting in “not met” categorization.
Number of Goals:
One Two Three
Goal Goals Goals
K 49.2% 38.5% 12.3%
1 97.4% 2.6% 0.0%
2 68.4% 30.3% 1.3%
3 64.3% 28.6% 7.1%
4 50.0% 37.5% 12.5%
5 56.3% 36.6% 7.0%
Table 4: Number of Goals by Grade Figure 2: Number of Goals, K-5
Source of Goals:
Teacher feedback and student goals were compared to ascertain sources used to
generate goals. Most often, goals were based on comments. For students in 1st and 2nd
grade, goals were typically copied word-for-word from whatever the teacher wrote on
the page. While this was most common in the primary grades, it was common practice
at all grade levels. “Neither” was listed when it was not apparent where the goal came
from. Kindergarten feedback was verbal so it is not included.
Comment Rubric Both Neither
1 94.8% 1.3% 0.0% 3.9%
2 73.7% 9.2% 14.5% 2.6%
3 34.9% 38.4% 7.0% 19.8%
4 42.6% 8.5% 31.9% 17.0%
5 58.0% 10.1% 18.8% 13.0%
Table 5: Source of Goals by Grade Figure 3: Source of Goals, K-5
In February work samples, 10% of student goals (34 of 346) were found to be
troublesome. In the initial report, that information was shared and SIP Team members
reported back to grade level teams. In March work samples, that number was reduced
to 4% (17 of 441).
e Quantity Comments
Most of these “goals” are actually strategies; some cannot be measured (“I will re-
2 13 read my sentences”).
Many of these “goals” are also strategies. Some are what is considered an
3 24 inappropriate goal at First Street (e.g., “get at least 8 points” “Use the writing I’m
supposed to use”).
4 8 Seven are strategies and one (“make my Reading Response better”) is not.
Three are strategies and two (“do what I did on this assignment and keep it up” and
5 5 “do everything my teacher told me to do”) are not.
Table 6: Troublesome Student-Generated Goals
Rubric scores were used to track individual student achievement with mean, median,
mode and standard deviation calculated for each classroom. Grading practices may
vary between teachers and comparison between groups of students was not desired, so
teachers receive student-specific information (Appendix F) and achievement data is
reported more generally to others.
In most classrooms, the first February Reader Response (RR) had the lowest mean and
greatest standard deviation. From the first RR to the second RR, 14 of 17 classrooms
showed an increase in mean score – higher achievement. 12 of 17 showed a decrease
in standard deviation – scores are more “clumped” toward the middle. From the second
RR in February to the first RR in March, nine of 17 classrooms showed a slight
regression in mean score (lower achievement) and 11 of 17 classrooms showed an
increase in standard deviation (more highs and lows). In 17 of 21 classrooms, the
highest mean score was on the second RR in March. On the whole, student
achievement improved over time with fewer outliers and greater consistency among
Goal attainment was examined via student and teacher reporting and information was
compared against rubric scores when possible.
Goal Not Goal
Met Met Met
K 57.7% 42.3%
1 54.9% 45.1% 65.3% 34.7%
2 61.1% 38.9% 69.6% 30.4%
3 84.3% 15.7% 89.3% 10.7%
4 70.0% 30.0% 81.4% 18.6%
5 82.9% 17.1% 85.3% 14.7%
Table 7: Goal Attainment by Grade Figure 4: Goal Attainment, K-5
The purpose of this study was to provide the First Street SIP Team with
recommendations regarding the refinement of student activities and data collection for
SIP Goal 3. Examining processes and content allowed for mid-course corrections that,
in turn, provided the SIP Team with increasingly consistent and usable data. Analysis of
February work samples showed that there were some disparities within and between
grade levels in terms of procedures that were being followed and data that were
collected. Some differences between grade levels were suitable and expected, like
additional conferencing and teacher involvement needed in kindergarten, but others
• In K – 2nd grade, there was one week, at most, between the two RRs. In 3rd and
4th grades that span could be as much as several months. Too many other
variables would affect the comparison of rubric scores from the first RR to the
second, so a guideline was put into place limiting the interval between RR1 and
• In 4th grade, there was no place on the form to indicate if the teacher thought the
goal was met and that form was also used by some 5th grade teachers.
• 5th grade required more of an overhaul – some work was scored with a rubric and
some was not. Some teachers used the 3rd grade form and others used the 4th
grade form and different information was collected on each. Sometimes
comments were very brief and there wasn’t anything we could measure. For one
classroom, RR2 was a revision of RR1 – students used teacher feedback to edit
the same piece of writing – and everyone else had two separate writing pieces. A
large packet was submitted, of which just a few pages related to the RRs.