Educators have made great strides in using data. But danger lies ahead for those who misunderstand what data can and can't do. This abstract from Education Leadership is a useful report for school leaders who need to learn the do's and don'ts of using data effectively.
Many school districts underutilize one of the most powerful and common symbol systems available to them—numbers—to monitor, evaluate, and revise programs and policies. In this abstract from Education Leadership, a trio of authors examine new ways for school leaders and teachers to make the most of the data available to them.
School staff are periodically reminded to revisit their SMART goals—goals that are Strategic and Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-based, and Timebound, in order to better assess the student population across learning disciplines. This article by Jan O'Neill offers useful advice for doing so.
Analyzing data not only helps inform decisions and challenge assumptions, but also helps teachers view their instructional and collaborative practices with a new perspective. In this abstract from Education Leadership, three schools show how the data-based inquiry and decision-making process can improve decisions about curriculum, instruction, and policy.
Examining student data through the lens of pressing questions can mobilize staff, promote data literacy, and help raise student achievement. This abstract from Education Leadership is a useful report for school leaders who need to make the best use of their data for assessment purposes.
Setting goals that connect to the classroom and focus on student learning helps educators see, learn from, and communicate their results. In this abstract from Education Leadership, author Jan O'Neill discusses SMART Goals; setting specific goals that are strategic, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and timebound.
Schools across the nation, faced with the challenge of helping all students achieve
high standards for learning, need clear guidance on how to engage in lasting,
effective improvement efforts. But after more than 30 years of education research and
countless improvement efforts, no clear consensus exists for how to get the job done.
Businesses have long used SMART goals—goals that are Strategic and Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-based, and Timebound as a way to cut through the morass of conﬂicting priorities and focus their energies on goals that would make a difference to their work. Although SMART goals did not seep into the education lexicon until the 1990s, the power that they bring to school improvement work is the same. SMART goals can focus a school’s or district’s work and determine whether the work is making a difference. This report suggests ways to make SMART goals work for educators.
The New York City Charter School Center has created this 3 part series on developing a Board of Trustees for new charter schools. This presentation shows how a school can develop academic and financial dashboards to help inform timely decision-making for school leaders and board members.
An argument can be made that educational leaders have always had “data” of some kind available to them when making decisions intended to improve teaching and learning. Effective leaders gathered whatever information they could readily access, and then drawing on accumulated experience, intuition, and political acumen, they chose the wisest course of action to pursue.