Before going on a vacation or beginning a trip, we map out a route and have a plan as to how we are going to get there, what we are going to do, and how we are going to do it. Education is no different.

We need to know where we are, where we desire to go, and have a plan to get there. Data give us the details to formulate a plan.

At Frank P. Brown Elementary School, part of Cumberland County Schools, we start with the big picture at the school level and compare our school to all schools in the district and state, then break down the information by subject, skill, and individual student. Teachers and students formulate the plan together. Everyone knows his/her starting point as well as the desired goal.

Using Pearson Access, teachers look at each student’s strengths and challenges. They share this information with the students and ask, “How are we going to improve or show growth in these areas?” Together an improvement plan is developed and put into play.

Throughout the school year we also use STAR testing and Accelerated Math to track progress and show growth. Teachers use this data as a self-assessment to formulate a plan for instructional improvements.

Regardless of the programs being used, we must always evaluate and re-evaluate to measure growth. ALL children can and will show growth, if held accountable.


Frank P. Brown Elementary School in Crossville is the middle school winner of the 2013 SCORE Prize. Watch more of Brown’s story in this video and read more about the school’s accomplishments.