Questions and Answers About SIP

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  • What is the instructional gap?
  • What is unique about SIP team meetings?
  • Where is SIP working? Who uses SIP?
  • What results can we expect with SIP?

What is the instructional gap?
The instructional gap is the gap between the instruction students receive and what they should be receiving to meet high standards. We can close the instructional gap by helping teachers improve the quality and rigor of their assignments and instructional practices and by aligning both to state standards. 
What is unique about SIP team meetings?
Teachers bring their classroom assignments and student work to the team meetings. Through professional conversations about the rigor of assignments, teachers help one another with techniques that strengthen assignments and improve instruction. Using a six-step process, teachers:

  • learn to evaluate their assignments for rigor and alignment with standards,
  • measure whether their students have the skills and knowledge to demonstrate proficiency, and
  • improve their assignments and instructional practices so that all students can meet—and exceed—standards.

Where is SIP working? Who uses SIP?
SIP currently is being used in schools in Georgia, South Carolina, Illinois, and New York.

     We believe that evaluating assignments is an important part of a solid teaching practice. We also believe that those outside the clasroom should be able to evaluate assignments. SIP can be tailored for parents, community groups, and school boards to help evaluate whether student assignments meet standards.

What results can we expect with SIP?
Results in Cincinnati:

“The SIP model was one of the most effective instructional practices used by many of the teams in K-8 schools that we studied this year.”—From an independent study of team-based practices by Jonathan Supovitz and Susan Watson, "Team-Based Schooling in Cincinnati: The Third Year" (Philadelphia: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania, 2000).

Results in St. Mary’s County, Maryland:

While actively using the SIP protocol, Lexington Park Elementary made amazing gains overall in grades 3, 4, and 5, significantly narrowing gaps between African-American and white students from 2006 to 2008. The percentage of African-American fifth-grade students scoring proficient or higher on the state assessment in mathematics climbed from 39 percent to 80 percent, while white students jumped from 65 percent to 100 percent. The school used reform strategies in addition to SIP, but most agree that working collaboratively on the SIP protocol added to their success.