Acting on Data: How Urban High Schools Use Data to Improve Instruction

January 21, 2009

When data serves as the foundation and culture of school systems, curriculum and instruction can be more closely tailored to each students’ particular academic needs.

The key findings from this national, qualitative study are delineated in the report entitled, Acting on Data: How Urban High Schools Use Data to Improve Instruction. In this study, Dr. Amanda Datnow and her colleagues take a close look at how teachers are using student data to inform a more responsive and targeted instructional program. The study also examines how school systems, both charter and district, are supporting educators in their use of data. This research builds on our previous study of data-driven instruction at the elementary level resulting in the 2006 report, “Achieving with Data: How High-Performing School Systems Use Data to Improve Instruction for Elementary Students.” Both studies were conducted in partnership with the Center on Educational Governance at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education.

We believe the report will be useful to educators since it both illustrates effective practices and illuminates some of the challenges inherent in fostering a culture of data use in our schools. From the start of this research, we set out to make this report and accompanying materials useful to practitioners. To this end, we’ve collected the templates and tools from our research and compiled them into a practitioner workbook for easy copy, modification and re-use. Permissions have been granted from all participating schools and school systems to repurpose and/or modify these documents.

Full Report: Acting on Data
Compilation of Data-Driven Tools

*Compilation of Data-Driven Tools – Modifiable Word Documents*

I. Setting Goals 11
Document 1: Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) District-wide Goals
Document 2: GGUSD Student Placement Goals
Document 3: GGUSD Bolsa Grande High School Class Analysis and Goal-Setting Worksheet
Document 4: GGUSDBolsaGrandeHighSchoolDataTeam Description
Document 5: Glendale Union High School District (GUHSD) Continuous Improvement Report
Document 6: YES Prep Public Schools’ Measure of Success
Document 7: YES Prep Public Schools’ Individual Management Plan

II. Instructional Sequencing and Planning
Document 8: Aldine Independent School District (AISD) Ninth Grade School Algebra Instructional Calendar
Document 9: AISD Ninth Grade School Math Department Meeting Calendar
Document 10: AISD Ninth Grade School English Calendar
Document 11: GGUSD Grades 7-12 Instructional Sequencing Options
Document 12: YES Prep Public Schools’ English I Standards

III. Instructional Evaluations
Document 13: Uncommon Schools’ North Star Academy Mid-Year Evaluation Rubric
Document 14: Uncommon Schools’ North Star Academy Teacher Reply Form for Mid-Year Evaluation
Document 15: YES Prep Public Schools’ Instructional Snapshot Tool
Document 16: YES Prep Public Schools’ Teacher Evaluation Summary Tool

IV. Data Reflection Tools
Document 17: AISD Ninth Grade School Student Analysis Tool
Document 18: AISD Ninth Grade Departmental Reflection Tool
Document 19: GGUSD Bolsa Grande High School Math Department Benchmark Reflection Tool
Document 20: Uncommon Schools’ North Star Academy Data Discussion Consultancy Protocol

V. Data Action Tools
Document 21: Achievement First Battle Plan
Document 22: AISD Ninth Grade School Language Arts Action Plan
Document 23: GUHSD Washington High School Program Improvement Plan
Document 24: YES Prep Public Schools Data-Based Action Plan