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 specialized funding and support for the development of systems for collecting meaningful student achievement data.  Invest in technology that assists in the analysis of test data.

Education Program:  Professional Development
National Conference of State Legislatures
This research brief examines the nature of professional development planning in the United States. It begins with an overview of traditional approaches to professional development and then details current trends in the field.  It then goes on to answer the question, “Whose Responsibility is Quality Professional Development,” by examining the roles of universities, state Departments of Education, local schools and districts, the federal government play in providing professional development.

Assessment:  What district policymakers can do
Furger, R.  (2002, January 21). The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This web page outlines 6 steps that district policymakers can take to improve assessment.  Two of the suggested steps are:  Invest in technology to support and enhance assessment, and develop and promote local assessment programs.  In addition to the recommended steps, the page contains links to relevant articles and associations.

Provide technical assistance to low-performing districts in the use of data to drive decision-making.

Data-Driven Decision Making
Education Commission of the States. No Child Left Behind Issue Brief (2002)
The Education Commission of the States explains how exemplary school districts in California, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, and Texas use data. The authors explain the types of data gathered by the districts and the aspects of teaching and learning that the data informs, such as student placements, professional development, and curriculum. The article also discusses resource allocation and specific district actions to support data use.

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.

Improving School Board Decision Making: The Data Connection
Linda Dawson
This site contains training tools, PowerPoint presentations, and quizzes designed to introduce school board members to using data to make good decisions.  It serves as a valuable resource for communities looking to coordinate the efforts of school board and district level leadership.

How do School Districts Affect the Quality of Professional Development Provided to Teachers?  Results from a National Sample of Districts
Desimone, L., Porter, A.C., Birman, B.F., Garet, M.S., and Yoon, K.S.  (2002) Teachers College Record, 104(7), 1265-1312.
Based on a study of the professional development practices of over 400 schools nationwide, this report outlines supports necessary to increase the capacity of districts to provide high-quality professional development.  It details the importance of aligning professional development to system standards, using data to drive decision-making, focusing on continuous improvement rather than isolated learning opportunities, and involving teachers in the planning of professional development.

Mapping a Course for Improved Student Learning:  How Innovative Schools Systematically Use Student Data to Guide Improvement
Supovitz, J.A., and Klien, V.  (2003, November). Consortium for Policy Research in Education.
This report from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education details how schools can use data to drive instructional decision-making and examines the efforts of several schools in this area.  It also discusses the importance of supporting teachers as they begin the process of collecting and using data as a source of information. 



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