The COMPASS (Compare, Assess, Select Levers to Improvement, Set SMART Goals) Tool Kit helps leaders take the pulse of their school, compare practices to those of the best practices of high-performing schools, determine the most fruitful areas in which to focus their efforts while developing SMART goals and an action plan for meeting them. The kit used by the teams includes rubrics, links to a set of web-based resources (case studies, informative displays of school performance on NYS assessments, evidence from exemplars, and suggestions for improvement from the higher-performing case studies), and guidance for setting SMART goals and developing action plans. The kit is designed to develop capacity for continual improvement in the school and district. It will also help your team focus on areas in need of improvement, learn from the best practices of schools that consistently perform well, establish priorities, set goals and measure progress toward those goals. And since it is linked to free web-based resources, cost of implementation is minimal.


  • Compare your performance and practices to similar schools to identify gaps and opportunity areas

  • Choose a priority area that will make a difference in student performance

  • Learn from higher-performing, similar schools

  • Develop SMART goals and action plans

  • Learn how to use data to monitor progress and create a continuous improvement cycle


  • Compare practices to higher performers

  • Assess priorities

  • Select levers to improvement

  • Set SMART goals


  • Ability to use evidence-based decision-making processes

  • Improves academic performance

  • Closes achievement gaps 

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University at Albany 
1400 Washington Ave
Catskill B27
Albany, NY 12222  

© 2019 Capital Area School Development Association