Interesting day at the EdWeek Leader’s Forum on Making Data Matter. Dan Katzir, Broad, did a great job kicking off the event with lessons learned over 10 years. Amiee Guidera did a great job outlining the Data Quality Campaign agenda.
It was disappointing only 6% of the participants responded that most or all (60-100%) of their teachers were data savvy (and 38% said that almost none were). It strikes me that all schools need to have 100% data savvy teachers fast, and if you agree, that has serious implications for hiring, training, and evaluating in the coming year.
This stuff is complicated, but school/system leaders need to boil it down to a few important goals (all kids readers; college/career ready), picking metrics, providing tools, and pushing hard for consistently strong execution. We heard about a good examples from Elgin IL and Ontarioville Elementary.
With all of the cool stuff coming down the pipe–adaptive assessment, learning games, second gen online learning–school leaders need to strike the right balance between execution and innovation. High performing schools execute at high levels–consistently high quality standards-based instruction over time across the curriculum. But after easy gains, schools need to innovate to personalize learning and build better support systems (for kids & teachers). Managing change in doable chunks so that staff members feel confident about their work is a real art; teachers can focus on doing something well or doing something different, not both.
I’ve very enthusiastic about a new generation of learning tools. They will allow existing schools to evolve and new schools to be formed. Budget cuts will make the transition more difficult, but it’s forcing us to ask tough questions about what’s really important. Data-driven instruction should be at the heart of that conversation.