How Teachers Can Turn Data into Action

How Teachers Can Turn Data into Action

How Teachers Can Turn Data into Action

How Teachers Can Turn Data into Action



From state and Common Core tests to formative and summative assessments in the classroom, teachers are awash in data. Reviewing the data can be time-consuming, and the work of translating data into real change can seem overwhelming.

Tapping more than 30 years' experience as an award-winning teacher and a trainer of PLC coaches, Daniel R. Venables, author of The Practice of Authentic PLCs: A Guide to Effective Teacher Teams, soothes the trepidation of even the biggest ""dataphobes"" in this essential resource. Field-tested and fine-tuned with professional learning communities around the United States, the Data Action Model is a teacher-friendly, systematic process for reviewing and responding to data in cycles of two to nine weeks. This powerful tool enables you and your teacher team to

• Identify critical gaps in learning and corresponding instructional gaps;

• Collaborate on solutions and develop a goal-driven action plan; and

• Evaluate the plan's effectiveness after implementation and determine the next course of action.

With easy-to-use templates and protocols to focus and deepen data conversations, this indispensable guide delineates exactly what should be accomplished in each team meeting to translate data into practice. In the modern sea of data, this book is your life preserver!


The old adage has it right: necessity really is the mother of invention. After January 2011, when my first book, The Practice of Authentic PLCs: A Guide to Effective Teacher Teams, was published, I found myself being asked to support teacher teams or professional learning communities (PLCs) around the United States and abroad. In that role, I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of helping schools at various states of readiness do the important work of authentic PLCs, and I believe that I have helped them all in some permanent, sustaining ways. But the chapter in The Practice of Authentic PLCs that gets the most questions (save for those pertaining to facilitating PLCs) and that has produced the most confusion for PLCs trying to implement the book’s ideas is Chapter 5: “Reviewing and Responding to Data.” Data are confusing. Data are messy. Data are scary. Data review is timeconsuming. “We need a systematic process for looking at and responding to data” was the message I got. “And it had better be teacher-friendly. And efficient. And doable in the precious few meetings we can allocate to this and in the precious few minutes we have to do it. And it has to make a difference for our kids—and in our test scores.”

Whew. Tall order, I thought. But these teachers were right: anything less was purely theoretical—good for university courses in education, but relatively useless for teachers in the trenches, doing the work as best they knew how in the scarce and coveted time they had to work with their teacher teams.

This book is the result of those requests. It was born of need and refined, streamlined, and simplified based entirely on the feedback of the teachers and teacher teams who used the Data Action Model in the trenches. The . . .

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