Sunday, June 6, 2010

Use Data to Decide What is Best (Day 6)

Day 6 of my month of blog-a-day (Spilling Ink continues with answering the following job application question: Describe the knowledge, skills, and qualities one should embody to be an effective educational leader.

... The second principle of decision making revolves around the appropriate use of data to do what is best for the children. Victoria Bernhardt (Using Data to Improve Student Learning, 2003) writes about using, both individually and at the intersections, “multiple measures of data: demographics, school processes, student learning, and perceptions.” Bernhardt explains that each of the four are vital and that using the intersection of all four types of data will lead to the best decisions. Over the last three years, I have been engaged with the staff in improving our use data for improving student learning. We look closely at MCAS data through Cognos/DESE Data Warehouse, we study our own assessment data, we conduct staff and parent surveys, and we are developing a student survey. I have frequent conversations with teachers about how their classroom observations and experiences with a student compares to the assessment data; we try to dig deeper into why there is a problem. This a change in thinking for many teachers and is slow going. The work on increasing our use of data to make decisions that are best for children has been very rewarding. ...

Thank you for reading this far. There are few paragraphs left of this essay and then starts the new writing. Any suggestions for topics? Please leave a comment. Thanks.

6 down, 24 to go.