Improving Instruction Through Effective Data Use:The Partnership Between Federal Programs and Principals 13th Annual Title Programs Conference June 17-18, 2015
When we work with data, we have to pay attention to: • Culture • Assessments • Analysis • Action • Monitoring
Teachers/leaders may not know what to do • Teachers/leaders may not know how to put the plan into action • No time for planning for instruction • No clear expectation from leadership (e.g. differentiation) • Teachers don’t know what to do (strategies) differently to show results • Teacher’s next steps may not be reflected in their lesson plans
The Process at theSchool LevelandHow You Can Help Your School Leaders
Culture -The Principal’s Role • Develop a cycle of data, analysis, action that is deeply embedded in school culture with students and adults • Set the tone (is the most valuable resource) • Carve out protected time for assessments and PLCs • Think out of the box with faculty meetings • Have a school-wide calendar with all assessment dates • Also include PLC dates on this calendar for school-wide consistency • Have a clear plan for PD with teacher input • Prioritize one or two instructional initiatives • Communicate expectations clearly (for example DI)
Culture -The Federal Programs’ Role • Be a liaison between district and schools • Be a coach! • Model the process that schools are expected to follow • Build a vision for a positive data culture • Develop a common language and shared vision of Instructional Leadership • Develop a description of the behaviors of an instructional leader • Understand concerns • Build capacity (ask guiding questions) • Ask “If”……… “Then” questions • Be specific about your expectations and then give individual schools autonomy
Culture -Sample Questions • How will you communicate your instructional focus to your staff? • What is the make-up of your leadership team? Where do you think they need the most support? • How will you foster leadership qualities in your team? • How well does your staff know your vision for data driven instruction? How do you know? • What process did you use to develop the PD plan for staff? What is the focus? • How will you assess the impact of PD on student achievement? • Do you have a school-wide calendar that includes all assessment AND PLC dates?
Assessments - The Principal’s Role • Review assessments thoroughly with staff • Ensure that there is consistency across departments/grade levels • Ensure that the types of questions/format that are included in the milestones are included in these tests and begin using that vocabulary from day one • Ensure that common assessments are created. Review the questions to make sure they incorporate the DOK levels. Adjust them if necessary (use SLDS as a valuable resource) • Work with teachers to drill down to the rigor of these assessments (mastery level of fractions – student will be able to solve a simple problem on a number line as well as one that’s embedded in a multi-step word problem)
Assessments - The Federal Programs’ Role • Ask guiding questions to ensure that schools have a balanced assessment system in place • Train principals on the use of SLDS • Ensure that funds for assessments are strategically used • Coordinate cross school teams to develop question banks for common assessments and rubrics
Assessments – Sample Questions • Do the common assessments include the same questioning formats and level of rigor as the state tests? • What process did you use to ensure that all staff used consistent grading rubrics? • Explain how your leadership team is working with those teachers who have a high failure rate? How are you monitoring this process?
Analysis -The Principal’s Role • Data, data everywhere…. decide what data to analyze • List and then rank all the different data to identify which ones most impacts instruction • Help staff learn to dig deeper by engaging in PLCs that focus on error analysis or item analysis • Ensure that analysis of data/PLCs is being done in consistent cycles
Analysis -The Principal’s Role Work in teams to: • Askand record questions about what they see • Answer and record those questions • State the impact on instruction (e.g. higher order thinking skills may be a grade level weakness while constructed response may be a weakness in just one class)
Analysis - The Federal Programs’ Role • Model PLCs with your principals by cluster, level or like demographics • Understand different types of data (Tool # 5) • Ask guiding and clarifying questions (Tool # 2) • Prioritize data – start small! (Tool # 5) • Hold cluster meetings where principals engage in discussing power standards • Take principals through analysis exercises to ensure consistency and necessary skills • Ensure that the focus in not only on “averages” when analyzing data
General Tips About Analysis • At the end of the day, it’s individual student data analysis and action items to target those areas that will make a difference • Data can get old very quickly. The more specific the data the shorter its shelf life! (pre-assessments, mid-term unit tests) • Visual presentation of the data is critical so that it’s easy to read • Less is more! • This is where data analysis typically stops
Analysis -Sample Questions • What process did the leadership team use to prioritize data focus for this year? What would you do differently next year? • What are your challenges to effective data usage? • Is there a clear protocol that is consistently used to analyze data? Describe it. • Is the staff engaged in error and item analysis when working with data? How do you know? • What is the performance trend of a specific cohort of students?* • Where are we making the most progress in closing the achievement gap?* * Source: Answering the Questions That Count: Ronka, Lachat, Slaughter and Meltzer
Action -The Principal’s Role • Ensure teachers look at pacing charts and curriculum standards when looking at instructional impact • Ensure teachers develop goals • Ensure teachers identify specific strategies • Ensure teachers set a time frame • Two levels of focus for next steps: • General discussions about grade/department (third graders have to learn how to use voice in their writing) • It should also be student specific after an assessment
Action - The Federal Programs’ Role • Model the process in your PLCs • Analyze data and develop interventions • Sharing of interventions/resources among principals • Schools may collaborate to develop a bank of instructional strategies
Action -Sample Questions • Explain all the support you have in place to foster collaboration among your staff. • Describe the components that must be included in an action plan for instructional interventions? • How much instructional support will teachers need (for example: for students below grade level in reading vocabulary)?* * Source: Answering the Questions That Count: Ronka, Lachat, Slaughter and Meltzer
Monitoring -The Principal’s Role • Protect PLC times • Hold vertical team meetings • Ensure leadership team has consistent skills to analyze data • Ensure funds are allocated for necessary resources • Ensure students are engaged in their learning • Conduct regular unannounced walkthroughs • Participate in PLCs • Ensure easy to read data displays • Communicate progress reports to stakeholders • Celebrate successes
Monitoring -The Federal Programs’ Role • Re-think your meetings • Build principal capacity to lead the PLC process • Use in-house talent for training • Stress on a ‘trickle down’ process • Working in PLCs, review lesson plans • Pick instructional area for each meeting • Principals present progress reports during PLCs • A balanced approach of support and accountability • Celebrate successes
Monitoring -Sample Questions • How do you monitor PLCs and interventions during instruction? • Describe your system of reviewing and monitoring lesson plans. What are the staff strengths and weaknesses in this area? • Share how you are working with a teacher to improve lesson plans. • Share how you are using peers support to improve instruction. • How do you, as the school leader have a deep understanding of how each grade level is doing? • How are students engaged in their own learning goals?
Contact Information Kalpana RajuSchool Effectiveness SpecialistDivision of School and District EffectivenessGeorgia Department of Education1870 Twin Towers East205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SEAtlanta, Georgia email@example.com Nicholas L. HandvilleOperations Analyst IIIOffice of School ImprovementGeorgia Department of Education1854 Twin Towers East205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SEAtlanta, Georgia 30334Office: (404) firstname.lastname@example.org