Principal's Guide: 6 Steps to Sell Your District on USATestprep

Published: Feb. 18, 2020, 5:26 p.m.

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The most important role of the principalship is that of instructional leader. Principals must ensure teachers have access to tools that make learning meaningful and rigorous. In addition, principals must ensure that all teachers in their building are using rigorous assessments in their classrooms and preparing students for rigorous test items on standardized assessments. The best tool for principals to use in their school to accomplish this goal is USATestprep.

Principals make budgetary decisions on whether to purchase instructional platforms based on a platform’s effect on student engagement and achievement. The question guiding all decisions is, “How will this product increase student test scores and rigor in the classroom?”

Principals must know the product they purchase will benefit the student population and increase scores in the school; thereby increasing scores in the district.

So, how do principals get their districts to buy in to the USATestprep learning platform? Let me tell you!

Step 1: Find schools with similar demographics utilizing USATestprep.

Talk with the school’s instructional leaders (i.e. the principal, assistant principals, department chairs, lead teachers, etc.) and learn ways USATestprep has positively impacted instruction and students. Personal stories from schools sharing a similar culture and demographics are impactful as it tells the story of students and teachers just like yours. As you connect, you will find stories of student growth, teacher love for the program, student engagement, teacher and student data analysis, and the list goes on. Also, check out the USATestprep website for data on USATestprep’s impact on student achievement.

Step 2: Determine which USATestprep product subscriptions fit your school’s needs using your school’s data.

So, you’re probably thinking, “Wait, I don’t have to purchase the entire platform in order to use USATestprep?” You are correct! USATestprep is concerned with helping schools meet their needs and realize every school has different needs. Therefore, you can purchase subscriptions based on the areas you specifically need to grow in your school. In this step, it is crucial to be familiar with the various subscriptions offered by USATest prep. The platform has subscriptions for courses with end-of-course assessments, core subjects, AP courses, ACT/WIN/SAT preparation, and so many more. Targeted subscriptions are a great way for schools to save money and USATestprep makes that possible.

Step 3: Use the free trial subscription for USATestprep to gain teacher buy-in.

The free trial is ideal as it allows you to see how this product fits in your school and school culture. Teachers will experience the ability to make rigorous assessments with an assessment bank, and assign activities, performance assessments and videos to students based on the topics being covered. Everyone will love the data analysis capabilities of USATestprep, and how teachers can use the data from USATestprep to inform their instructional decisions and provide individualized instruction.

Step 4: Request your district purchase subscriptions for specific areas where your school needs the most growth.

Select the top two to three target areas. Request your district to purchase these subscriptions for the first year to build support for the program, based on its impact. You could also buy the subscription with funds allocated to the school for instruction. Implementing USATestprep in small increments saves your district money and allows your district to see the impact of USATestprep in your school, with responsible spending.

Step 5: Bring the information and data from your own school’s trial subscription and the information and data from schools like yours to district leaders.

Explain the benefits and cost-effectiveness of USATestprep. Relay the stories of your teachers and students in their experiences of using USATestprep for the trial period.

Step 6: Ask your district leaders to purchase two to three USATestprep subscriptions.

At the end of every day, districts are concerned with data and how to improve the schools in their system. Use the process outlined above to bring the data to your districts in order to gain support for purchasing USATestprep in your school.

Thank you to our guest writer, Elizabeth McDonald from Manning High School in South Carolina.

Elizabeth McDonald

About the author: Elizabeth M. McDonald has eight years of teaching experience and is a Social Studies teacher at Manning High School in Manning, SC. Elizabeth has her Masters in Education from Anderson University, a Masters in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Literacy, Language and Culture from Clemson University.

"I love USATP! It is a part of my classroom culture in my US History, AP US History and AP Human Geography. My students thrive from the rigorous assessments I can assign them. Because of their exposure to rigorous questions on USATP, they perform well on standardized assessments. I wholeheartedly believe that USATP is a part of the success I see in my classroom. "