We use data to help us inform certain decisions. Data helps us understand our students, it also helps us understand how to optimize instruction so we can reach our students. Use data as an instructional optimization tool.
To help all students achieve, teachers need to systematically and routinely use data to guide instructional decisions and meet students’ learning needs. Data use is an ongoing cycle of collecting multiple data sources, interpreting data to formulate hypotheses about strategies to raise student achievement and implementing instructional changes to test hypotheses. Collaboration among teachers in each step of the data-based inquiry process can maximize the benefits of data use by helping teachers share effective practices, adopt collective
expectations for students’ performance, gain a deeper understanding of students’ needs, and develop effective strategies to better serve students.
Use data as a tool to keep you informed about the students you teach. Make a decision right here and now that the magic bullet for student success does not reside in a prepackaged curriculum. It resides in the hearts and minds of your students and teachers. Strategic planning so that teachers have time to analyze data and most importantly create a plan based on the data they review is key in becoming an intentional data informed school.
While data is important to helping with decision making, educators do not need or have to collect data for every decision they make. Listen, real innovation involves disruption. Bold moves can be made in spite of data. And yes there will be failures. Use your heart and mind to create real change. But don’t call everything data. Some things are just information and data can be a part of that.