Moving Your Numbers: A Synthesis of Lessons Learned: How Districts Used Assessment and Accountability to Increase Performance for Students with Disabilities as Part of District-wide Improvement


A guide summarizing the lessons learned by school districts profiled in the Moving Your Numbers series. Moving Your Numbers features the work of ten districts with varying demographics that have used assessment and accountability as an impetus for positive change. In each case, districts used the increasing demand for accountability for all students and groups of students to change the conversation and practice across the district, "moving their numbers" in a positive direction for all children as a result. The stories of the ongoing journey of each district, while far from done, describe the actions of adults committed to improving their own practice as a way to support higher levels of learning for all children. While each district had its own framework or set of guiding core beliefs for organizing its work, each of them implemented a set of practices that was very similar. Evidence suggests that these six practices, when used in an aligned and coherent manner, are associated with higher student achievement:

  1. Use data well;
  2. Focus your goals;
  3. Select and implement shared instructional practices;
  4. Implement deeply;
  5. Monitor and provide feedback and support; and
  6. Inquire and learn

The lessons learned from featured districts are presented in this synthesis guide across each of the practice areas delineated above.


Resource Guide 
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
Council of Chief State School Officers
National Association of State Directors of Special Education


  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • Classroom Assessments (Diagnostic, Formative, Interim)