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Getting Excited About Data
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Getting Excited About Data
Combining People, Passion, and Proof to Maximize Student Achievement

Second Edition


February 2004 | 272 pages | Corwin
The aim of this book is best captured by its subtitle, Combining People, Passion and Proof to Increase Student Achievement. The book explains how the goal in collecting more data should be to increase student success, not to be "a more research-based, data-driven school." The book focuses on the human elements, such as hopes and fears, prior knowledge, and current needs. Getting Excited About Data, Second Edition, strives to create active engagement with interaction with peers and data with the purpose of building a more collaborative culture and a shared sense of collective responsibility for all students' learning.
Tony Wagner
Foreword
 
Preface
What This Book Is Not

 
What This Book Is

 
How This Book Is Organized

 
Acknowledgments

 
 
About the Author
 
1. Using Data for Alignment and Achievement
Alignment Between Mission and the School Portfolio

 
Alignment Between Mission, Portfolio and Concerns

 
Alignment Between Concerns and Priorities

 
Alignment Among Priorities, Study, and Strategies

 
Alignment Between Priorities, Strategies, and Evidence

 
Alignment Betwee Strategies, Evidence, and Action Plans

 
Consolidating Multiple and Existing Plans

 
Using Data for Alignment and Achievement

 
Two Schools Implement a Major Change

 
Two A's and Three Powerful P's

 
Making It Public

 
On the Road Again

 
 
2. Understanding the Importance of Proof
My Data Roots

 
Data to Close the Achievement Gap

 
Use of Data Highlighted in National Research Reports

 
Data Work in High-Performing Schools

 
Data - Essential, but Not Sufficient

 
 
3. Coping With the Barriers to Data Use
Reasons for Reluctance to Use Data

 
Assessing Data Readiness

 
Responding to Concerns

 
 
4. Engaging the People
Internal and External Engagement

 
The Cultural Problem

 
Creating the Culture of Collective Responsibility

 
Finding Time

 
Making It Public

 
 
5. Arousing the Passion
The Motivation Continuum

 
Swapping Stories

 
Language, Humor, and Music

 
Monitoring Our Mission

 
 
6. Starting With the Significant
Data > Test Scores

 
State and Federal Mandates

 
The Blue Ribbon Approach

 
Of Local Significance

 
No Snapshots, Please

 
Finding the Starting Point

 
The Snowball Approach

 
 
7. Displaying the Data
Size

 
User-Friendly Data Displays

 
Displaying Longitudinal Data

 
Color Coding Proficiency

 
The No-Numbers Approach

 
Displaying Perceptual Data

 
The Whole Portfolio

 
Making It Public

 
The Acid Test

 
 
8. Interpreting the Results
Carousel Data Analysis

 
Listening In

 
Using the Responses

 
Making It Public

 
 
9. Designing a Data Day
Purpose

 
Preparation

 
District Session

 
School-Based Activities

 
Follow-Up

 
Making It Public

 
 
10. Establishing Priorities
Getting It Out and Narrowing It Down

 
Wordsmithing Works

 
The Ends or the Means

 
Mandates and Motivation in Goal Setting

 
 
11. Drilling Down the Priority Data
Planning Forward With Student-Specific Data

 
Planning Backward With Skill-Specific Data

 
Ramping Up the Roster

 
Slicing the Pie

 
Attacking Anonymity

 
 
Checking Out Perceptions
Making It Public - Not

 
 
12. Looking Around and Looking Within
Examining Research

 
Exploring Best Practice

 
Probing Our Practice

 
Capturing Our Culture

 
 
13. Clarifying District, School, and Classroom Roles
Going in Circles

 
Going With the Flow

 
Cycling in Synch

 
Delivering the Data

 
Coordinating the Common

 
 
14. Planning Your Work and Working Your Plan
Developing Action Plans

 
Evidence of Implementation

 
Evidence of Impact

 
Reaping Unexpected Benefits

 
Making It Public

 
 
15. Sustaining the Struggle
Analyzing Implementation

 
Integrating Programs and Practices

 
Saying No

 
Celebrating

 
Spreading a Little Cheer

 
 
16. Leading with Relentless Resilience
Review

 
Relentless Resilience

 
Reflection

 
 
References
 
Index

"It was a pleasure to read Getting Excited About Data. I found it precise and on target for enabling school personnel to effectively use their schools' data to plan improvement."

Theodore Creighton, Executive Director
National Council of Professors of Educational Administration

"The book is written in friendly language and is a quick read with many examples. The diagrams and sample questions throughout are very useful."

Jill Hudson, Principal
Madison Middle School, Seattle, WA

"Holcomb's enlightening revision gives educators a useful, fun-to-read resource full of strategies, tools, and techniques for focusing on data. Presented with tales of real-life experiences, this book gives the reader a ‘ready-to-use’ approach that is refreshingly practical."

Debbie McDonald, Kentucky State Director
Appalachian Education Lab

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ISBN: 9780761939597