Student Achievement Skyrockets at a Tucson Elementary School

An effective classroom-based program of differentiated instruction, called Reteach and Enrich, kicked off eight straight years of success at Mesquite Elementary. Read more about the program.

An effective classroom-based program of differentiated instruction, called Reteach and Enrich, kicked off eight straight years of success at Mesquite Elementary. Read more about the program.
Infographic showing Mesquite versus state of Arizona math achievement

Sources: Vail School DIstrict and Arizona Department of Education. Infographic: Maili Holiman

Reteach and Enrich began in the 2002-03 school year. Students are given weekly assessments designed to measure students' understanding of each week's math concepts. Based on assessment results, students are placed into groups receiving either re-teaching or enrichment activities. At the end of the year, statewide tests measure students' overall math level. After the Reteach and Enrich program, the number of third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders meeting and exceeding state math standards increased significantly. Teachers at Mesquite report that Reteach and Enrich was key to the increase in test scores; however, since this was not a controlled study, it should be noted that many other factors could also explain the increase.

Watch our Reteach and Enrich video.

Read more about how Reteach and Enrich works.

This article originally published on 9/27/2011

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Intervention works!!!!

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Intervention works!!!!

This model is effective in

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This model is effective in ensuring that students are gaining skills and knowledge before moving on. This is important if students are going to be successful in the future. This is not "teaching to the test". This is teaching to the expectations of students. If we expect students to have a certain set of skills, then we have to do our best to give them every opportunity to obtain those skills. Even if there were no high stakes tests to worry about, this would be an effective model that I would support because it seems to be good for kids.

Managing Editor and Producer

Re: Testing, Testing, and More Testing

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Hi Blanco - Thank you for your comments, we appreciate your sensitivity to the issue of standardized testing. We chose to cover Mesquite because their Reteach and Enrich program ensures student learning and mastery. They have found a way to provide the extra time and instruction some students may need, without stigmatizing or labeling those students. Although their test scores are high, the educators at Mesquite are clear that they are "teaching to the standard," as several teachers explained, not teaching to the test. As a school and as a district, they have agreed upon the state standards they feel are most important for students to succeed in school and in life, and focus their instruction accordingly. Their principal explained it this way: "Our whole purpose behind reteach and enrich was not because we were chasing great test scores. It was because as an educator we have the responsibility of ensuring that our students have mastered what they needed to master."

Technology Instructional Specialist

Testing, Testing and More Testing - Is that Really the Answer?

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"Students are given weekly assessments designed to measure students' understanding of each week's math concepts. Based on assessment results, students are placed into groups receiving either re-teaching or enrichment activities."

I expected something more significant and inspiring from an Edutopia "Schools that Work" example than simply one that tests kids on a weekly basis and reteaches areas of weakness. Of course they are doing better on state tests: They are practicing ALL year for them! This is just sad!

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