"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
Consider qualitative and quantitative data-informed decision making
"The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insights [ and insight into actions]."
From Data to Dialogue
Data-Informed Decision Making
In schools that are data-informed, test results are just one more piece of information that can be helpful in determining future directions.
I’ve been thinking about these conversations. Here is an example of how the perspective of being data-informed plays-out in my own teaching practice...
Reviewing the test results sparked this kind of reflection — on my own. I certainly have not received any kind of pressure from our data-informed administrators.
As a result of this reflection, which was informed by data, I’ve made two decisions:
* I’m going to begin the classroom management program that I shared in my previous post from day one in my ninth-grade class. If it took six weeks to move from extrinsic to intrinsic after a semester of chaos, I suspect it will take far less time at the beginning of the year.
RTI - Data in action
Educational Decision Making
Data-driven educational decision making refers to the process by which educators examine assessment data to identify student strengths and deficiencies and apply those findings to their practice. This process of critically examining curriculum and instructional practices relative to students' actual performance on standardized tests and other assessments yields data that help teachers make more accurately informed instructional decisions (Mertler, 2007; Mertler & Zachel, 2006). Local assessments—including summative assessments (classroom tests and quizzes, performance-based assessments, portfolios) and formative assessments (homework, teacher observations, student responses and reflections)—are also legitimate and viable sources of student data for this process.
The "Old Tools" Versus the "News Tools"
The concept of using assessment information to make decisions about instructional practices and intervention strategies is nothing new; educators have been doing it forever. It is an integral part of being an effective educational professional. In the past, however, the sources of that assessment information were different; instructional decisions were more often based on what I refer to as the "old tools" of the professional educator: intuition, teaching philosophy, and personal experience. These are all valid sources of information and, taken together, constitute a sort of holistic "gut instinct" that has long helped guide educators' instruction. This gut instinct should not be ignored. However, it shouldn't be teachers' only compass when it comes to instructional decision making.