Practical resources improve educator effectiveness and keep track of students’ progress.
Crystal Brown has taught fourth grade at Hinsdale Elementary in northern Kentucky for nine years. She knows a lot about good teaching but, in a classroom of 28 students with different strengths and challenges, tailoring her instruction to each student’s learning needs has always been difficult.
Without other resources to make it easier to personalize the support she gave to students, Brown has spent much of her career with one-size-fits-all tests and teaching materials; however, this approach meant that many students were either left behind or not sufficiently challenged.
But recently, thanks to a new data platform called the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System (CIITS), she is better able to help her students set appropriate academic goals and provide them with targeted support.
“Whenever my students take a test, their score comes up automatically on their computers so they can see right away if they met their goal,” she said. “It’s immediate feedback for them, and it shows me what I need to teach. I can move to the next skill if I see all my kids got questions 1 to 3 correct, or maybe I can pull a small group of students who got questions 9 and 10 wrong together for extra help.”
CIITS went live in August 2011. Eighteen early adopter school districts began using it right away and the other districts in the State came on board in early 2012. Now, all of the State’s 44,000 teachers and 3,500 school and district leaders are using the system.
It gives teachers ready access to student data, customizable lessons and assessments, and a growing selection of professional development resources, such as training videos and goal-setting tools.
CIITS was a core part of Kentucky’s Race to the Top plan. The State was already building the system prior to receiving the award, but the additional funds made it possible to add resources and accelerate expansion to more districts.