ALPHA PLUS MODEL OF SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
Since 1990, when the Oklahoma Legislature created the state’s first academic standards and mandated a new type of state tests, the Alpha Plus team of educators has been developing tools to help students reach higher expectations.
Alpha Plus uses scientifically based methods to help low-performing schools achieve high progress, and customizes services to meet the needs of rural, suburban and urban schools.
EVIDENCE OF EFFECTIVENESS
While a majority of schools served by Alpha Plus start out as low-performing, schools that use Alpha Plus tools with fidelity outperformed Oklahoma’s average proficiency rates on state tests at Grades 3-8 every year.
Alpha Plus schools suffered the impact of COVID-19 the last three years as all schools have yet maintained results above state averages in 2021 and 2022. There were no state tests in 2020 and will be no state report cards until late 2022. The table below shows pre-pandemic results as these are the last Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) scores the state of Oklahoma considers comparable.
Alpha Plus data and training help educators improve instruction and, as such, state-mandated test scores in ELA, mathematics and science. These, in turn, improve districts' Oklahoma School Report Card grades.
Each year, we evaluate Alpha Plus data against Oklahoma State Department of Education data for each school to ensure tools and efforts are aligned to the state accountability formula. The next state report cards are expected Fall 2022 and will be available at https://oklaschools.com.
In 2021-22, Alpha Plus Online assessments aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) were:
- in 118 schools in 85 districts
- with 17,900 students, Grades 1-8, and
- for 1,225 teachers, specialists and administrators statewide.
When schools using Alpha Plus tools get great results, we are the first to share to news media, Facebook, Twitter, and on our website.
Each year, we help more schools improve. Then we celebrate with them and help them share the good news!
This is how Alpha Plus has inspired results for nearly 30 years - by giving the credit to teachers and school teams. And, schools always exceed our expectations and state averages.
Oklahoma Edge, the state's plan for compliance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states that "a robust assessment system is tied closely to students’ learning and teachers’ instructional practices by valuing and promoting local, classroom based formative assessments that help make student learning visible.
At the same time, that system should provide a strong summative assessment program that fits as a component within a multifaceted state, district and school accountability system." [Page 48-49, Oklahoma ESSA Consolidated State Plan, July 2018]
Alpha Plus Online is precisely that type of system. New grade-level reports developed over last several years help teachers pinpoint students' learning gaps in alignment with the OAS.
Moreover, Alpha Plus Data-Driven Professional Development helps schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement to meet state and federal mandates.
Evidence-Based Practices studies from the USDE's What Works Clearinghouse that correlate to the Alpha Plus Model of School Improvement materials and services include:
- "Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making" at https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/PracticeGuide/12
- "Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools" at https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/PracticeGuide/7;
- and "ACT/SAT Test Preparation and Coaching Programs" at https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_act_sat_100416.pdf.