Dr. Douglas L. Ragland
Retired Superintendent of Schools
Student learning in my districts I served were taught and documented based on various assessments. We ultimately evaluated the needs of individual students via standardized test data based on the demographics of mastery of skills. There were also daily teaching, assessing and monitoring of skills, creative writing and critical thinking assignments, projects, weekly quizzes, benchmark testing, Individualized Program Assessment, assessment via the course of study and specific skills for mastery in respective grade levels, mid-term exams, semester exams, end of the year exams, standardized testing such as Stanford Achievement Test, Alabama Reading and Math Test, Writing Assessments, Alabama Graduation Exam, college placement exams such as ACT, SAT and the like. This is just a summary of the techniques used for assessments in the districts I served.The professional development, support, and/or resources for instructional decision making available to educators in the districts I served were many. There were ongoing professional development programs locally, statewide, nationally and internationally, in-service partnership programs from the local colleges and universities, instructional training in the areas of math, science, workshops conducted by state department officials and renowned lecturers in the areas identified for school improvement, school improvement teams for respective schools were created, Alabama Math Science Technology Initiative, and Alabama Reading Initiative Programs were instituted in every school, Technology and Distance Learning Grants were utilized in promoting technology initiatives, Alabama First Reading Initiative, Middle School That Work, High School That Work and Advanced Placement Training Professional Development Grants were instituted for the elementary, middle and high schools, Career Technical Education Training was provided resulting in 100% of the course offerings designated as Business Industry Certified and the enhancement of Workforce Development Program. This is just a sample of the many professional development opportunities for decision making and resources that were offered to educators in the districts I served.