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Rocket Launchers

Author(s): Tracy Volz, PhD
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Sources of Information

Many primary and secondary schools have web sites where you can learn more about the topics introduced on the previous slide. In addition to a school’s website, be sure to visit the school district web site to learn more about the district’s goals, core values, and leadership. Some teachers also have their own websites. If you know the names of teachers at the school, it can be helpful to review their sites as well.

The U.S. Department of Education hosts a site that may help you to locate individual state education agencies. To find detailed information on a Texas school’s performance, visit the Texas Education Agency’s web site. Here, you will find information about a school’s student demographics, performance on theTexas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), standardized test scores on the SAT/ACT, graduation and dropout rates, staff, programs, and financial standing. This site provides access to information about a school’s performance over multiple years, which may reveal upward or downward trends in specific areas.

Other resources for data on schools include the following:
National Center for Education Statistics: http//
National Education Association
Council of Chief State School Officers

In addition to these resources, consult with your educational advisors, or other teachers/administrators you may know, prior to an interview. They may be able to provide additional “inside” information about a school’s leadership, culture, and challenges–information that is not widely publicized. Remember, however, that unless a person’s opinion is confirmed by other sources, it is the opinion of only one person and may not be widely held. Finally, it never can hurt to call a school directly to speak with administrators or teachers about specific issues that may help you to prepare for your interview.