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Assessment Tools

National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools (NSBECS) provide Catholic school sponsors and stakeholders with a sound set of criteria which they can confidently use to develop tools and resources for authentic accreditation, self-assessment, reflection, strategic action, and collaboration.   Surveys, rubrics, checklists, exemplars, published articles, research, and links to professional development based on the Standards support implementation of best practice and growth in excellence at the school and diocesan/network levels.

Research and Publications

The March 2012 issue of Momentum contains several articles about the standards and about using the standards for renewal and visioning, goal setting, planning, self-assessment, accreditation, resource allocation, capacity building, and collaboration.

Surveys

In early 2012, the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, School of Education, Loyola University Chicago brought together a national committee of Catholic educators to develop adult and student stakeholder surveys for the Defining Characteristics and the Standards and Benchmarks. Following validity and reliability testing of the surveys by AdvancED in March, 2012, the surveys will be embedded into the AdvancED evaluative frameworks for accrediting Catholic schools and dioceses, and will also be available to all Catholic schools and dioceses at no cost through this Catholic School Standards Project web site.

Survey Development Committee members are: Lorraine A. Ozar, Ph.D. (Chair), Loyola University Chicago; Susan Ferguson, Ed.D. University of Dayton; Adam Krueckeberg, Boston College; Kathleen Schwartz, Ed.D., Diocese of Venice FL; Patricia Weitzel-O’Neill, Ph.D., Boston College.

Rubrics

In early 2012, the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, School of Education, Loyola University Chicago brought together a national committee of Catholic educators to develop rubrics for each of the seventy Benchmarks, which schools can use to self-assess their current level of implementation. The rubrics will be embedded into the AdvancED evaluative framework for accrediting Catholic schools and dioceses, and will also be available to all Catholic schools and dioceses at no cost through the Catholic School Standards Project web site.

Rubric Development Committee members are: Lorraine A. Ozar, Ph.D. (Chair), Loyola University Chicago; Susan Ferguson, Ed.D. University of Dayton; Adam Krueckeberg, Boston College; Kathleen Schwartz, Ed.D., Diocese of Venice FL; Patricia Weitzel-O’Neill, Ph.D., Boston College.

Other Self-Assessment Tools

Plans are taking shape to develop additional self-assessment tools based on the NSBECS, including checklists related to the Standards and Benchmarks, and reflection questions and discussion protocols around the Defining Characteristics. As they develop, these tools and resources will also be available at no cost on this web site.

Professional Development

To achieve and sustain excellence, schools need to constantly build and expand their capacity to implement their goals. They need high quality, role-embedded professional development -- for administrators, for teachers, for staff, for boards, for all those engaged in the work of the school. Catholic schools can find excellent sources of high quality, research-based professional development among Catholic colleges and universities. The National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools offers an invaluable template to both K-12 Catholic schools and to Catholic higher education for seeking, designing, and implementing professional development for capacity building in relation to nationally accepted goals for Catholic schools. Similarly, corporations and not-for-profit companies interested in providing services and materials for Catholic schools can use the Catholic School Standards and Benchmarks to focus their work on behalf of Catholic schools. As the Catholic School Standards and Benchmarks become widely implemented, a national “menu” of professional development around the Standards and Benchmarks can result in accessible and efficiently targeted programs and resources for Catholic school improvement. Links to these programs and opportunities will increasingly appear on this web site.

Links to Additional Resources

The national professional organization, Catholic Higher Education Supporting Catholic Schools (CHESCS), provides links to Catholic Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) professional development directed toward Catholic elementary and secondary schools.

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