What are the requirements for setting targets in Step 1b of Problem Solving?
The Department does not require a specific number of or emphasis for targets. Rather, districts and schools are encouraged to review available state and local data through a needs assessment (problem identification and root cause analysis), consider each of the five domains that research demonstrates are conditions necessary for successful schools (Effective Leadership, Ambitious Instruction, Collaborative Teaching, Safe/Supportive Environment, and Family/Community Engagement), and focus on the highest priority areas of strength and weakness for the school or district.
The exhaustive list of indicators in CIMS allows teams to set targets that are relevant to the strategic goals they have identified in Step 1a as a result of the needs assessment. Keep in mind that Step 1a and Step 1b together create a theory of action – that is, by realizing the strategic goal (1a), the set targets would also be reached (1b). Thus, the purpose for setting targets in problem solving is not to predict results but rather to ensure the team is considering from the beginning the conditions for success and examining results objectively to determine if strategies are working, with systematic and urgent focus on how students are learning.