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Promising Practices: Accountability

These projects help to improve agency and student accountability through the effective use of data, assessments, and reporting.

TOPSpro Network Meetings

Promising Practice: The purpose of the TOPSpro Network meetings is to provide mentors for new TOPSpro users, to improve accountability of WIA II agencies, and to enable the TOPSpro experts in every agency to assist teachers and administrators in improving instruction through the use of clear student data. The original goals of the meetings were to standardize data collection and collaborate among WIA II agencies to solve any software or data collection problems.

Agency Awarded: Torrance Adult School, 2008

Summary Description of Project:

Torrance Adult School has created a network of surrounding WIA II agencies in which members share their successes, questions and suggestions for the use of TOPSpro software. Beginning in 2001, these network meetings have been held monthly at different participating locations, and have involved from 10 to 35 individuals. Fifteen ore more agencies from Torrance’s ACSA Region have participated regularly. Most network attendees are the people actually working with TOPSpro, although meetings may also include administrators, program managers or CASAS employees.

Originally, when TOPSpro software was new, the administrators in the Region 14 ACSA group suggested that staff members using TOPSpro should get together to discuss TOPSpro-related issues. This group continued to meet on a monthly basis and expanded to welcome anyone who with a desire to improve their data collection and help others to do the same. The TOPSpro Network never seems to run out of topics to discuss or issues to address. At each meeting, there is now at least one administrator from an agency in attendance to update the network on legislative and policy issues that affect data collection.

These meetings give TOPSpro users in the field the ability to network and collaborate with each other. The meetings are a chance for new users to ask questions of veteran TOPSpro administrators, and for data collection staff to learn about any policy changes. The Network meetings have been extremely successful, and Torrance’s meeting structure has served as a model for at least 10 other TOPSpro Networks throughout California.

Evaluation Process/Results:

In addition to serving as a model for other TOPSpro Networks, Torrance Adult School’s network meetings have led to increased accountability and better WIA II program management. The agency consistently submits data deliverables in a timely manner, and has shown improvement in student performance in the last year. 
As a result of these meetings, Torrance Adult School has also seen:

  • Increased teacher buy-in for collecting accurate data and preparing lessons around the standards assessed
  • Administration understanding the purpose of data collection, and how it can translate to better student outcomes and performance
  • Data collection staff better able to process and collect accurate data (and understand the value of that data)
  • Data collection staff feeling valued as employees at each agency and taking their responsibilities very seriously

For additional information contact:

Phebe Ogami
Telephone: (310) 972-6500

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