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April 24, 2015

1 min

Dr. Jessica Spallino


As previously discussed on differentiation, charter schools are looking for ways to stand out amongst increasing options. As the challenge and demand for student enrollment grows, charter schools continue to improve their programs and differentiate themselves as much as possible.

Utilizing data to improve student performance is a great way to refine schools’ academic program. We have found that providing diagnostic assessment data to generate individualized learning paths is effective. Enhancements to that learning path can also be data-driven. For example, at Method Schools we group students based on common deficiencies demonstrated in an initial diagnostic assessment taken upon enrollment. The results of this diagnostic assessment generate a strand specific report that identifies what each student has and has not mastered. From there students are grouped according to mastery and receive instruction on each strand that was not mastered. These “bits” of instruction are short and targeted on a specific skill or concept and after a student has received a series of these instructional sessions, they are assessed again to ensure mastery.

We have found that this enhanced data-driven approach is effective in improving student performance and this in turn has helped us as an organization to differentiate ourselves amongst others. A data-driven approach has helped us to be more efficient with our instructional time, which allows for additional time to create new ways of providing students a dynamic education. Differentiation requires an organizational commitment to continuous improvement so that the offerings are unique and effective. This commitment to differentiation can make a world of difference in a today’s very competitive charter school market.

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