Creating Data-Driven Systems for Instructional Placement Decisions

Bridgette Stevens and Robyn Warner

How can schools effectively use data teams to make instructional placement decisions?

When you look at the Federal statutes and regulations, there is little information on how to instructionally place students. Most research is centered on IDEA and the special education programs; however, appropriate placement is a need for all students. Schools are calling for a system to accurately place students in their individual appropriate classroom setting.

The classroom placement decision-making process can be tricky and biased. By using a problem-solving system, achievement data collected by teachers, and collaboration, placing students can be focused on student achievement levels. Schools need tools to help this process. For example, many schools have an RtI program in place for academic and behavioral interventions, teachers have access to universal screeners and progress monitoring assessment to collect data about student progress, and professional learning communities have been developed to engage in conversation about student achievement. Using the collaboration of these resources schools can ensure that all students are placed in their respective classes appropriately.

A system has been developed focusing on individual data to appropriate place all students. By combining the problem solving cycle and data collection, students can be placed and reassessed for placement frequently. 

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