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What About Your School’s Test Results?

Let’s address HOW to deal with the test scores that you get.

Why?

It turns out that the way school leadership, as well as the staff, thinks about, discusses, and frames the conversations about test scores actually affects future scores.

How does this happen and how should a staff debrief the testing?

The Research

The way that your staff frames their results and frames their work is critical to the ongoing success at your school.

A “framing effect” is usually said to occur when varied, but usually equivalent descriptions (of a product/experience/decision or problem) lead to very different decisions. We’ve all known this as, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

New research done at the University of Michigan by Juth and Helgesson (2012) suggests that your expectations and predictions shape your future efforts via the “framing effect.”

If we started a hypothetical group of elementary children, all earning the same letter grades (ex. A, B, … F), here is how their expectations matter. In those children expecting to become a teacher, an engineer, or a nurse when they grew up, this study successfully predicted that they’d work harder in school.

In this same study, nine out of ten children expected they would attend at least a two-year college, but less than half saw themselves as having an educational degree-dependent job. This is why it is so important to tie their dreams to an actual job, not just to college.

At the secondary level, researchers presented two different options of information to two groups of students. They heard about either: Read more