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ERIC Number: EJ941376
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Data: Meaningful Analysis Can Rescue Schools from Drowning in Data
Reeves, Douglas B.; Flach, Tony
Journal of Staff Development, v32 n4 p34-38, 40 Aug 2011
Learning Forward's Standards for Professional Learning have the potential to influence educational policy and practice in profound ways for the systems that are courageous enough to take them seriously, and the Data standard is a critical element systemwide. Schools are overwhelmed with data warehouses, colorful charts and graphs, and endless PowerPoint presentations. The millions of dollars that governments at all levels are investing in data systems will be wasted unless significantly greater attention is paid to the systematic evaluation of teaching and leadership decisions based on data. However, in many schools, the availability of data is inversely proportional to meaningful analysis. The reality is that many common practices substitute the appearance of data analysis for the reality of substantive analysis. To realize the achievement of the Data standard, the authors offer three imperatives for school leaders and policymakers. First, close the implementation gap for professional learning standards. To close the gap between the aspirations expressed in the standards documents and the reality of educational systems, leaders at every level must hold themselves accountable for the implementation of the standards. Second, change accountability from an evaluation system, linked to punishments and rewards to a learning system. Feedback for improved performance has a greater impact on morale and productivity than the use of the same data for financial incentives alone. The authors recognize the present political reality that data will be used for economic incentives; they are suggesting, however, that the massive investment that educational systems are making in data systems could be used for far more constructive purposes. Third, change data system investment strategy from one that disproportionately allocates resources to hardware, software, and data warehouses to new strategies that disproportionately allocate resources of money and time to data analysis and decision-making processes. With these emphases, the Standards for Professional Learning will have the opportunity to influence student learning and improve teaching and leadership effectiveness. Without these imperatives, however, teachers and leaders will continue to be drowning in data but failing to have the time, professional learning, and leadership support to use data to improve teaching and learning.
Learning Forward. 504 South Locust Street, Oxford, OH 45056. Tel: 513-523-6029; Fax: 513-523-0638; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A