Recommendation Five:
Enhance capacity for analyzing and interpreting data to ensure PD opportunities are based on the needs of students and teachers.


Role Group Strategies:

Provide leadership from business experience in the use of data to drive decision-making.  Serve as “technical assistance providers” guiding school improvement teams that are beginning to use data to make decisions about professional development.

Data-Driven Schools Create Their Own Accountability
Working Toward Excellence (2002, Summer) The Alabama Best Practices Center.
This article outlines the importance of using data to drive school reform efforts and provides case studies of two schools who have made data analysis a part of their school culture.  It also includes a visual representation of how data-driven schools function and several web links to valuable resources related to the topic of data driven instruction.

Data-Based Decision Making:  Resources for Educators
AEL and The Council of Chief State School Officers.  (2001).
This tool provides a step-by-step guide to using data in school improvement.   It provides detailed advice and guidance for the following role groups: policymakers, state team leaders, school team contacts, and technical assistance providers and includes real school stories and action tools that support the creation and functioning of school improvement teams fluent in the use of data to make decisions.

Reinventing Education Change Toolkit
IBM (2002).
This toolkit, provided free of charge to anyone working in K-12 education, is designed to help school and district leaders to guide the school reform process.  The toolkit can be used to diagnose an environment for change, collaborate with members of a school change team, read real-life vignettes from education colleagues, plan a change initiative, and connect with educators worldwide.

Sustaining School Improvement:  Professional Development
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.  (2003).
This document outlines the key elements of effective professional development programs, offers strategies that school leadership teams can use when establishing professional development programs, provides a rubric for evaluating professional development within a school and shares a ‘success story’ from Witters/Lucerne Elementary School in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

The Toolbelt: A Collection of Data-Driven Decision-Making Tools for Educators
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
This website provides a variety of resources and action tools for improving schools through data-driven decision-making.  The site contains a data use primer, a searchable database of resources, a matrix of tools organized around various district needs, and a step-by-step guide to using data in school improvement efforts.

Using Data to Improve Student Achievement
Maryland Department of Education
While originally developed for Maryland principals and teachers, this website offers guidance to any school interested in using data to guide their school improvement efforts.  Four learning modules focus on the skills necessary for using data effectively to improve student achievement.  Most valuable to teachers and principals outside of Maryland are Module 3:  “Using School Data to Clarify and Address Your Problem,” and Module 4:  “Using Classroom Data to Monitor Individual Student Progress.”  The site includes sample documents, interviews, worksheets, and data collection templates.


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