Email Status

Volume 19, Number 4
July/August 2003

Making the Most of Standardized Test Data


The Harvard Education Letter's teacher research column profiles classroom or school-based research conducted by practitioners to improve educational practice.

The Context

The Charlotte M. Murkland School in Lowell, Massachusetts, is an inner-city school with approximately 530 students in preschool through 4th grade. The school is located in the section of the city known as The Acre, which has historically been where new immigrants to the city settle. The Murkland has a Khmer bilingual strand, and an estimated 60 percent of our students come from non-English-speaking homes. Our poverty rate is one of the highest in the city, about 84 percent.

The school was built ten years ago, and the faculties from two schools joined to form our teaching staff, which has a commitment to providing the best instruction possible to all students. The Murkland is challenged with a host of problems that can only truly be understood if you are there. Still, year after year teachers remain. Perhaps most telling is that we do not have difficulty getting substitute teachers to come to the building. We like to think of ourselves as a large family.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


Also by this Author

    For Further Information

    For Further Information

    E. Ferrance. Action Research. Providence, R.I.: Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratoryat Brown University, 2000.

    I. Hall, C.H. Campbell, and E.J. Miech. Class Acts: Teachers Reflect on Their Own Classroom Practice. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Publishing Group, 1997.
    "Solving Problems with 'Action Research': A Conversation with Pedro Noguera." Harvard Education Letter. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Publishing Group, September/October 2001.

    E. Meyers and F. Rust, eds. Taking Action with Teacher Research. Portsmouth, N.H.: Teachers Network/Heinemann, 2003.