You will also want to capture your thoughts for these two categories of information on the indicator template.
- A commendation is a process, a practice, or a set of results that stand out as being particularly praiseworthy. You may find examples in the documentary evidence as, for example, a well-constructed portfolio system for gathering student work, or the collected notes of a reflective and productive collegial circle devoted to reviewing current research. You may also hear about processes, practices, or results that are worthy of commendation during the course of your interviews.
- Recommendations are probably the last elements you will add to the indicator template. They are also, from the perspective of the district being visited, the most important part of the final report. Your recommendations should derive not only from your review of documentary evidence, but also from your conversations within the team as well as with teachers, administrators, students and parents in the district. When you are absolutely certain you understand the processes, practices and student results already in place, you can formulate your suggestions about next steps to consider as the district moves forward. Often your recommendations will fall into place as you are writing up the draft report for your indicator or during the course of the scoring conversation with the team as a whole. If, for example, you find that the district has a comprehensive professional development plan, but that it hasn't been reviewed and revised for a number of years, a recommendation might be, "Consider revisiting the professional development plan to study the connections to student performance data collected since the plan was first implemented."