The Data-Driven Classroom: How Do I Use Student Data to Improve My Instruction?

The Data-Driven Classroom: How Do I Use Student Data to Improve My Instruction?

The Data-Driven Classroom: How Do I Use Student Data to Improve My Instruction?

The Data-Driven Classroom: How Do I Use Student Data to Improve My Instruction?

Synopsis

Thanks to initiatives like the Common Core and Race to the Top, accountability requirements continue to be a reality for educators. Yet many are still unsure of how to use data to make well-informed instructional decisions.

The Data-Driven Classroom comes to the rescue with a systematic, universal process that shows teachers how to

• Examine student assessment results to identify a curricular or skill area to target for individual intervention or large-group instructional revision.• Develop, implement, and assess the effectiveness of the intervention or revision.• Develop an action plan for future instructional cycles.

Author Craig A. Mertler sheds light on how teachers can make sense of overwhelming standardized test reports while avoiding pitfalls like over-interpreting data. In these pages you will also find practical classroom examples and templates designed to guide teachers of all grade levels and subject areas through the comprehensive decision-making framework.

Excerpt

Teachers have been using data about students to inform their instructional decision making since the early movement to formalize education in the United States. Good teachers tend to use numerous types of data and gather them from a wide variety of sources. Historically speaking, however, teachers have typically not incorporated data resulting from the administration of standardized tests (Mertler & Zachel, 2006).

In recent years—beginning with the adequate yearly progress requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and continuing with Race to the Top (RTTT) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) assessments—using standardized test data has become an accountability requirement. With each passing year, there seems to be an increasing level of accountability placed on school districts, administrators, and teachers. Compliance with the requirements inherent in nclb, rttt, and the ccss has become a focal point for schools and districts. For example, most states now annually rate or “grade” the effectiveness of their respective school districts on numerous (approximately 25–35) performance indicators, the vast majority of which are based on student performance on standardized tests.

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