The Ferguson Institute

About the Ferguson Institute

The Ferguson Institute brings together educational leaders from districts across the country who embrace assessment as a tool for informing instruction. Through presentations and dialogue, these educators discuss innovative ways to make a positive impact on student achievement through thoughtful assessment practices.

The Ferguson Institute is named in honor of Curriculum Associates’ cofounder, Frank Ferguson, whose leadership and vision we celebrate through continuing his mission to make classrooms better places for teachers and students.

The 2019 Ferguson Institute on the Evolution of Data

The first Ferguson Institute on the Evolution of Data successfully brought more than 60 educators representing 22 states and 43 districts together in Cambridge, Massachusetts on July 15–17, 2019. Educators were invited to attend based on their dedication and innovation within their districts as assessment, curriculum and instruction, and district leaders.

Highlights from the 2019 Institute

Top Five Takeaways

Many great ideas were exchanged at the Ferguson Institute, and a few themes emerged.

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Developing an Academic Improvement Index

Catherine Matthews of Everett Public Schools, Everett, Washington, discusses an effective way to use student performance data to identify and close achievement gaps in a school or district environment.

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Leveraging District Data Chats to Guide Changes in Instruction and Operation in Schools

For two years in a row, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), Florida, has received an “A” rating from the Florida Department of Education.

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Defeating the Predictability of Failure—Using Data to Shape School Culture

"Would you rather have headwinds or tailwinds?" Patricio Vargas, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, California, posited this question as part of his captivating presentation.

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Using Data with Equity Initiatives 

This panel presentation brought together educators from three school districts across the United States who are focused on using data to inform equity initiatives in their home districts.

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2019 Ferguson Institute Awards

During the conference we were delighted to announce our inaugural Ferguson Institute Awards winners. The Ferguson Institute Awards are an opportunity to recognize those schools and individuals who have excelled in various categories and have made a positive impact on student learning. Three of the key areas that were celebrated at the 2019 Ferguson Institute Awards are “Stretch Growth®,” “Largest Change in Proficiency,” and “Instructional Usage with Fidelity.”

Greatest Stretch Growth

Growth above “Typical” That Puts Students Who Are Performing Below Grade Level on a Path toward Proficiency

Trailwoods Elementary School, Kansas City, Missouri Public Schools

Pulaski Elementary-Middle School, Detroit Public Schools Community District

Largest Change in Proficiency in Mathematics

A Substantial Increase in the Percentage of Students Reaching Proficiency in Mathematics

Grades K–5
Branford Elementary School, Suwannee County School District

Grades 6–8
Kaimuki Middle School, Hawaii State Department of Education

Largest Change in Proficiency in Reading

A Substantial Increase in the Percentage of Students Reaching Proficiency (an iReady Grade-Level Placement of Mid On Grade Level or above) in Reading

Grades K–5
Dogwood Elementary School, Camdenton R-III School District

Grades 6–8
Elite Scholars Academy, Clayton County Public Schools

Instructional Usage with Fidelity

Implementing iReady Personalized Instruction According to the Recommended Usage Guidelines

Verde Elementary School, the School District of Palm Beach County

Gautier Elementary School, Pascagoula-Gautier School District

Notable Accomplishments

Research Collaboration in Pursuit of Student Learning

Mark Howard and Paul Houchens, Palm Beach County School District