Foundation for Excellence is a detailed, objectives-driven program designed to raise student performance every year.
In addition to annual performance growth, Foundation For Excellence includes:
- An annual validity check linked to commonly known academic performance measures;
- A connection between academic performance to a career-directed secondary school experience, based on the student’s personal likes and dislikes, beginning at age 12.
- A long-range viewpoint, beginning at Grade 2 and carrying through post-secondary school education.
First, let’s take a look at annual performance growth.
In most K-8 schools, at the end of a unit (e.g. Long Division), after quizzes and homework, a unit test appears. The time devoted to this unit is limited by the teacher’s year-long schedule.
At the end of that group instruction, some students have total mastery, some have just a little error baggage, and some leave with a lot, as the following graph shows:
Usual performance distribution after new unit is taught.
That error baggage may (or may not) be corrected by another teacher.
The Foundation for Excellence model also begins with timed group instruction, but includes no exam at the end of the unit.
Instead, each student begins working through diagnostics—shorts list of items designed to identify ANY and ALL of that student’s error baggage.
The student works alone at his or her own rate. When diagnostics have been completed, the mastery test is given.
As the following graph shows, no student leaves this unit until he or she can show a 90% mastery of the content:
Same unit, performance distribution with Foundation for Excellence.
Next post (Thursday, March 5): How does this lead to annual student performance growth?