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Performance Management at SEED School of Maryland

The Challenge

As a public boarding school with a cost model nearly three times that of a traditional school, the SEED School of Maryland is in a difficult political position. So when, in its first two years of operation, the school failed to register Adequate Yearly Progress (“AYP” under No Child Left Behind), UPD was brought in to help establish an effective performance management model and apply it to the teaching teams in Math and English Language Arts (ELA).

The Solution

UPD implemented a new performance management system to train the teachers, team leads, and school administrators. We then created a process for collecting the school’s short-cycle student data, including benchmark tests aligned with the State of Maryland’s annual year-end assessment.

We analyzed the performance of students on the benchmark tests and cross-referenced test outcomes with other data (e.g. climate, attendance, discipline, formative assessments, other assessments, grades, etc.). We then developed dozens of visualizations of aggregate and disaggregated data and drafted and distributed a SchoolStat Memo for all stakeholders.

The memo outlined several pertinent issues that served as the starting point for focused dialogues on what we were seeing, why we thought we were achieving the outcomes we were achieving, and what we could do to improve performance. This process was repeated five times over the course of the school year.


Proficiency ratings improved significantly among both boys and girls in both subject areas. And, as a corollary benefit, UPD’s reforms led to significant improvement in the quality of the school’s data and the data collection and storage systems (including a more cohesive collection method), improved consistency among teachers, and the use of unique student identifiers throughout the school.

The engagement was judged to be successful across the board, and UPD was retained to continue the program for two additional years.