Our district is on the move to substantial and permanent improvement of student achievement. Our mission includes a trifecta of proven strategies to fundamentally alter and improve student achievement.
The first of these strategies is an intense focus on school leadership. Leadership rather than management matters in improving student achievement. Our principals are devoted to increasing student achievement and making professional collaboration result in positive outcomes for students.
The second aspect of our fundamental change is a focus on high quality instruction. Research demonstrates that high quality instruction is the single most important factor in student achievement. Improving our instruction to meet the particular needs of our students is essential. Insuring that solid Tier 1 instruction occurs, meaning that eighty percent of children achieve mastery during Tier 1 teaching and re-teaching is an essential measu re of success. Because the teachers of this district are masters at instruction, these expectations are achievable.
Finally, the third strategy is assessment and analysis. Effective use of assessment data is essential. Until our district obtained a system to monitor and collect data, much of our data collection efforts were wasteful, redundant, and not useful to classroom teachers. In order to be meaningful, assessments must be tied to the rigor expected on end of level tests.
When I became superintendent, the routine talk was about a state takeover of Ogden City School District. Because of the substantial improvements we are experiencing, such talk no longer occurs. When I became superintendent, Ogden School District was widely reported as the lowest performing school district in Utah. Ogden School District is no longer in that position. Indeed given the work that teachers, administrators and staff members are performing, at present Ogden School District may be the fastest growing school district, in terms of instructional and student achievement outcomes, and also is well on its way to meeting our guarantie in being the highest performing school district on the Wasatch front for the 2014 assessment season.
It is exciting to work with all of you and to be part of these changes.