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F o c u s o n S tandards

Our students
are reaching their
academic targets
right on time.

An Instructional Improvement Model Customized to Your District and

Aligned to Your State Standards
ETSs Focus on Standards (FOS) model is a school improvement solution that combines successful,
standards-based instructional practices with technology-based assessment tools. The FOS model provides
the infrastructure and customizable tools that help school districts engage in continuous improvement.

Using Assessment and Analysis to Drive Improvement

The FOS model uses ETSs Instructional Data Management System (IDMS) tool to analyze student
performance on state or district assessments and to create interim assessments that are aligned to
state standards and paced to the curriculum. The result is a balanced approach to assessment that
combines the benefits of state, district and school-wide assessments with the instructional value of
day-to-day classroom assessments.

Collaborative, team-based professional development

ETSs FOS team works directly with districts and schools to rapidly increase instructional focus while
continually improving instructional capacity. Students will be able to achieve more in language arts and
math because teachers can:
Focus on the most important standards (for high-stakes tests and for learning in the following years)
Monitor students academic performance using interim assessments
Analyze those assessment results in group meetings and plan appropriate interventions


A proven, research-based improvement model
The Focus on Standards (FOS) model follows five steps. Each step builds on what
is accomplished in the previous step.

Step 1: Essential Standards

ETS identifies critical state-specific standards that students must master
in order to move on to the next grade level. Essential standards represent what
students should know and be able to do to demonstrate proficiency on
high-stakes assessments as well as in foundational skills that are important
for success in future grade levels.
Teachers plan curriculum using the standards. The essential standards help
teachers focus instruction. Teachers can choose which classroom activities are
likely to produce a greater returnin terms of student achievementon their
investment of time.

Step 2: Effective Classroom Instruction

Pacing of essential standards over the school year ensures proper sequencing
and adequate teaching time is allocated for mastery of the essential standards.
Pacing helps teachers spend more time on fewer, but more critical standards.
ETS facilitators guide the pacing process by fully involving teachers in
creating their own pacing charts customized to meet district or school needs.
Instructional materials are then aligned to the new paced curriculum used
by teachers to plan their lessons.
Standards-based interim assessments are built to reflect the paced standards.
The Web-based Instructional Data Management System (IDMS) tool enables
teachers to guide the pacing, build standards-based assessments, analyze results
and keep instruction on schedule.

pr o v en res u lts
The Ontario-Montclair, CA School District averaged a 25 percent Academic
Performance Index (API*) score increase after implementing the FOS
model and the IDMS tool. The growth was 143 percent above target.

* API, the cornerstone of Californias Public Schools

Accountability Act of 1999, measures the
performance and growth of schools on a variety
of academic measures.
Step 3: Summative and Formative Assessments
Teachers regularly administer interim assessments aligned to the paced standards.
School leaders and teachers conduct an in-depth review of assessment data.
The IDMS tool helps teachers build interim assessments and analyze assessment data
down to the individual student level.
Specially designed Web-based reports, easily created using the IDMS tool, place the data
in an easy-to-use, actionable form right on educators computers.

Step 4: Structured Teacher Planning Time (STPT)

Teachers meet in grade-level or department teams to analyze the interim assessment
results, determine how to regroup students, redirect instruction and plan for academic
intervention. ETS facilitators lead these meetings in the first year to establish correct
practices that lead to desired outcomes.
Teachers review their own instructional practices, based on the data, share
effective teaching strategies and determine their own professional development needs.
Teachers unwrap standards and identify the instruction each standard requires
a key element of STPT.

We have used IDMS for the past three years, and it is especially effective in analyzing interim district
and state data. But we found a real advantage in adopting the entire five-step FOS process especially
Structured Teacher Planning Time and the way it focuses teachers on student achievement.
James Canter
Director of Curriculum
Snowline, CA Joint Unified School District

Step 5: Timely Academic Intervention

Teachers within a grade level or department prescribe and design student intervention
programs based on the students and standards identified during STPT. Interventions may
occur between the bells or outside the school day.
After intervention, the same teachers meet to analyze intervention effectiveness
and determine how to adjust instruction.

pr o v en res u lts
Snowline, CA School Districts API scores increased 66 points between 2002 and 2005.
ETS: The best choice to help you improve
student achievement with the FOS model.
The Focus on Standards model represents the integration of state-of-the-art data analysis,
research and best classroom practices to meet the challenge of school improvement. As the
nations leading provider of accurate assessments at all levels for balanced systems, ETS can
help districts and schools improve student achievement more reliably and sustainably. ETS offers
research-based and experience-based products and services for establishing and continuously reinforcing
the vital connections between curriculum, assessment and classroom instruction with all stakeholders.

Our dedicated team of professionals brings unparalleled credentials and commitment to the work of
helping schools and districts improve student results.

What we were impressed with was the complete package the Web-based tools of
IDMS, the FOS framework, the dedicated support. The entire system fit right into the
direction of our strategic plan and also addressed our most immediate needs.
Dr. Dana Griggs
Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services
Ontario-Montclair, CA School District

To learn more about the Focus on Standards model and the schools
that have been successful using it, visit or
call 1-866-ETSLEARN (1-866-387-5327) to speak with a representative.

Copyright 2006 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS and the ETS logo are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS).