The Teacher Self-Assessment Scales (TSAS) dataset consists of more than 600 teachers representing more than 30 schools in New Mexico. About half of the schools come from a single school district in the northern part of the state. Some other schools have been identified by the Bilingual and Multicultural Education Bureau (BMEB) of the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) as 'Notable Schools'.
This 'Notable Schools' designation was determined by a combination of criteria, such as:
- School grade as issued by the state education agency (SEA, PED), which itself includes a review of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), a VAM (Value Added Modeling) calculation that controls and adjusts for various variables related to school performance (such as school size and prior year performance);
- School and student growth, as measured by predicted improvement of standards-based mathematics and reading scores over three previous, consecutive years;
- Language-proficiency gains from one year to another based on Access for ELLs scores and ELL exit rates;
- Graduation rates, calculated for high schools, that tracks completion over four years, plus two more years for students in the four-year cohort who require additional time;
School interest in participating in the inquiry process; and,
- Student population, in particular that the schools and programs serve sufficient numbers of CLD/EL students.
School grade was only one criterion used in determining the selection of 'Notable' schools. When seeking out these school, we also learned that it is possible to have a upwardly progressing bilingual education/ESL program in a low-performing school.