The PR-SSI, the K-12 science and mathematics reform initiative, for example, looked at student academic achievement to “take the temperature” of its overall K-12 reform strategy while focusing on the most important element of the system: the students. The PR-SSI looked at student academic achievement from three different yet complementary perspectives: the classroom level, the reform program, and the system. The teacher, who learned about alternative assessment strategies during professional development sessions designed for this purpose, looked at student performance in the classroom and used this information to refocus the content and strategies of daily lessons to strengthen student learning. The program looked at student academic achievement trends across schools and across cohorts of participating schools. The system used data provided by entities such as the College Board to look at the impact of the reform on the overall system.
On the other hand, the Puerto Rico Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PR-LSAMP) Program, which aims at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, uses the following metrics to measure progress of the reform: retention and graduation rates of students, number of years to obtain a baccalaureate degree, number of students that enroll in graduate programs and successfully complete a doctoral degree in a STEM discipline, and the Index of Course Efficiency (average number of times students must take a course to obtain a satisfactory grade –A, B or C). This set of measures that assesses academic progress has direct impact on the cost of higher education and, for this reason, has a major impact on the academic CEO’s and their setting of institutional priorities.