Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ATI Forum Sneak Peek: Seeing Both the Forest and the Trees

How does your district integrate data from various levels (including classroom quizzes, formative assessments, and benchmark tests) to provide clear paths from the details of instruction to global student success?

Teachers and administrators have different jobs, and they must necessarily focus on different levels of data analysis. School and district administrators must focus on global data to monitor progress of large groups in terms of AYP. Classroom teachers must focus on detailed data regarding specific lessons and specific students. Communication across these levels of analysis is crucial for successful data-driven instruction and intervention efforts. After all, it is primarily the classroom teachers who actually implement the interventions necessary to modify school- and district-wide trends. At the same time, administrators need to know what progress is being made in the classrooms throughout the year, so that problems can be identified and responded to well before the administration of high-stakes statewide assessments.

Communication across these levels can be inherently difficult. The two levels differ in terms of the requirements for good data collection, the time frame for the availability of data, and the level of analysis for the resulting data (i.e. data reported in terms of averages and probabilities, at the global level, versus data in terms of specific students and specific lessons at the classroom level). How is data from across levels combined to provide a coherent pathway toward success?

Those who register for and attend the Forum will consider the issues that facilitate effective communication of data between teachers and administrators. They will also discuss the integration of data from multiple levels into one, coherent, system that facilitates the monitoring of progress from the level of individual students and lessons to district-wide AYP status.

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