Today's blog is a continuation from yesterday's post — if you haven't had the chance to read it, check it out here!
A Data-Informed Culture
To help educators implement and benefit from data-driven decision-making, Istation developed the webinar “Leadership’s Role in Data-Driven Decision-Making.”
In the webinar, Istation’s Senior Vice President of Customer Success, Lori Lynch, and Istation’s Professional Development Project Lead, Julie Kalinowski, outlined the primary areas that contribute to success:
- Create a safe environment for data-sharing in professional-learning communities and faculty meetings. Never assign blame.
- Focus on two or three reports, using live data to dig deeper, all the way down to the student level.
- Discuss how students are performing. This is very important not only among educators, but with administrators, parents, and, most importantly, the students. Encourage your students to take ownership of their data. A 2009 study by Marzano Research found that involving students in this process fosters substantial growth.
- Examine student performance at every level — right down to the classroom.
- Celebrate even the smallest growth with the kids. When you do so, stickiness and fidelity increase, and fidelity equals growth.
Kalinowski also addressed the importance of deploying data to inform professional development, suggesting that educators:
- use campus data to look for trends within a grade level or skill,
- identify resources and strategies to support those areas,
- provide additional professional development when and where data indicates the need, and
- acknowledge success because the positive reinforcement produces long-term positive results.
A “Stickier” Implementation
“The number one bonus of a good, actionable piece of data is that you can get excited about it — jump in with both feet — and it can be actionable right away,” Lynch said.
But buy-in from the top-down is essential.
“We do know that, ultimately, student performance is greatly impacted by effective school leadership,” Kalinowski said. “When school leaders set goals for data usage, create that infrastructure, and provide teachers with tools to help use the data, the results can greatly enhance student outcomes.”
The potential payoff is tremendous.
“When the kids are excited,” Lynch concluded, “it holds us as educators accountable to the data, and the implementation is stickier, with the best fidelity — and that’s when the best growth happens.”