Alabama Incentivizing Better Use of Data to Target Learning Acceleration

The Alabama Department of Education is using ESSER II funds to provide districts with an “Assessment Award” grant focused on grades 4-8. This grant provides districts with additional funding of $12 per student to expand early reading and math assessment systems so that district leaders can identify the academic needs of students heading into middle school years.

Schools and districts need consistent assessment data to guide instruction for learning acceleration. This is especially true for students in transition years, like middle school. The state’s investment in expanding assessment options through grade 8 will help to ensure that teachers, parents and students can access more meaningful information about where students are and how to address lost learning.

We are spotlighting this practice because regular and accurate data are an indispensable component of education recovery. The Alabama Department of Education is encouraging districts to keep their eye on the ball while providing resources to do so.

Reviewer Analysis

The Data Quality Campaign

Alabama’s investment in more regular assessments should provide educators and education leaders with more accurate and actionable information on students’ learning and needs.

Jocelyn Pickford

In ESSER II, Alabama is also focusing on HQIM so I am hopeful that the SEA is looking to align HQ curriculum and formative assessments to inform instruction.

New Leaders

Supporting schools’ development of more reliable and consistent data systems and structures is a good use of funds. Schools without current systems will likely need support in recognizing and implementing effective data practices, especially at the school leadership level.

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