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The Data Toolkit
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The Data Toolkit
Ten Tools for Supporting School Improvement



December 2011 | 160 pages | Corwin
How to accelerate analysis into action

Using data for school improvement is a key goal of Race to the Top, therefore now is the time to make data-driven school improvement a priority. However, many educators are drowning in data. Boost your professional learning community's ability to translate data into action with this newest book from Robert T. Hess and Pam Robbins. The Data Toolkit provides ten easy-to-use tools that don't require statistical expertise, can be implemented in a timely manner, and facilitate problem-solving at classroom, school, and district levels. These proven methods help educators:

- Frame the questions

- Drive the conversation

- Engage in productive reflection

- Uncover understandings

- Create a data-driven plan

- Achieve and monitor results

Written in an educator-friendly format each chapter contains instructions on using the tool, a sample scenario, and examples—practical tools that will help your PLC be the best it can be.

Also included are case studies that show how data teams, PLCs, and individual teachers have used the book's methods in their own settings. The culminating school improvement mapping tool guides the team through designing an action plan focused on increasing student learning and achievement outcomes.

 
 
Foreword by Kate Dickson
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
 
Chapter 1: Build Your Team
The Power of Relationships

 
Tool 1: The Smalley Team-Building Personality Test

 
Another Team-Building Strategy: Using Objects to Reflect Personalities

 
High-Functioning Teams

 
Improvement Means Change, and Change Means Conflict

 
Understanding How Change Occurs

 
Team Member Roles and Responsibilities

 
TIPS Framework for Data Teams

 
Additional Helpful Hints

 
 
Chapter 2: Identify the Problem: Using Data to Transform Our Intentions
Tool 2: Identify the Problem

 
Using Data to Unpack the Problem of Mobility

 
Vertical Alignment and Mobility

 
Using Identify the Problem in a Classroom

 
Data Reflection Helps Budget Woes

 
A Happy Ending to Budget Woes

 
In the Field: Identify the Problem

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
Chapter 3: The Three Guiding Questions: Making Instruction Work
Data and Conversation

 
Tool 3: Three Guiding Questions

 
How to Use Three Guiding Questions

 
Asking the Right Questions

 
The Power of Thinking

 
Corbett: A District That Thinks

 
Conversation Promotes Thinking and Reflection

 
In the Field: Three Guiding Questions

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
Chapter 4: Analyze Your Students: Let the Data Decide
Teach to the Top

 
Analyzing Driving Quantitatively

 
Creating the Standard

 
Measuring to a Standard

 
The Kennewick Model

 
Analyzing Students in Local Districts

 
Classroom Example

 
In the Field: A Kindergarten Success

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
Chapter 5: Four Quadrants: Creating Crosshairs With Data
Tool 5: Four Quadrants: Creating Crosshairs With Data

 
Reeves's Four Quadrants: Lucky, Leader, Loser, and Learner

 
Using the Four Quadrants to Gauge RTI Progress

 
Using the Four Quadrants to Analyze Classroom Data

 
Classroom Example: Third-Grade Classroom Data in Four Quadrants

 
Using the Four Quadrants to Analyze Grade-Level, School-Level, and District-Level Data

 
Teacher and Principal Effectiveness in Four Quadrants

 
Instructional Leadership Standards for Principals

 
Building Management Standards for Principals

 
Teacher Effectiveness in the Four Quadrants

 
Classroom-Based Instructional Standards

 
Non-Classroom-Based Standards

 
In The Field: Analyzing Freshman Failures

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
Chapter 6: Wagon Wheel: Using Multiple Points of Data to Drive Instruction
Tool 6: Wagon Wheel

 
Mapping Fourth-Grade Writing on the Wagon Wheel

 
Reflecting on the Data

 
Using the Wagon Wheel to Measure InTASC Standards

 
Learner and Learning

 
Content Knowledge

 
Instructional Practice

 
Professional Responsibility

 
In The Field: Using the Wagon Wheel to Analyze RTI Effectiveness

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
Chapter 7: Five Whys: The Power of Questions
Tool 7: Five Whys

 
Persistent Achievement Gaps

 
A Diverse District Beating the Odds

 
Schools Beating the Odds

 
The Power of Working Together

 
Teaching Students to Think

 
21st Century Skills: The Future is Now

 
In The Field: Implementing a Core Program

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
Chapter 8: Relations Diagram: Discovering the Key Drivers
Tool 8: Relations Diagram

 
Tackling Discipline Problems

 
Motivating Students

 
In The Field: READ 180 Revisited

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
Chapter 9: The Fishbone: Making a Difference With Data
Leadership Matters

 
Real Education Reform

 
Making a Difference in the Classroom

 
Tool 9: The Fishbone

 
Improving Tenth-Grade Math Scores

 
Everyone Writes

 
In The Field: Green Acres, The Place to Be

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
Chapter 10: School Improvement Mapping: Making Strategic Decisions and Taking Action
Tool 10: School Improvement Mapping

 
Goal Setting

 
Using Data to Drive Goals

 
Clear Strategies

 
Specific Actions

 
Improving Writing Districtwide with Goals, Strategies, and Actions

 
Creating the Building Blocks of Excellence

 
Hiring the Best

 
Professional Development

 
Evaluation for Meaningful Feedback

 
Improving Instructional Feedback

 
The Power of Mentoring as an Improvement Tool

 
Moving to the Next Level: A New Model of Systemic Improvement

 
Running in Circles

 
Collaboration = Connectivity

 
Stepping Up to Collaboration

 
In The Field: High School Mentoring Project

 
Putting It All Together

 
 
11. Now What? Using the Tools in the Classroom, School, and District
Tool 1: The Smalley Team-Building Personality Test

 
Tool 2: Identify the Problem

 
Tool 3: Three Guiding Questions

 
Tool 4: Analyze Your Students

 
Tool 5: Four Quadrants

 
Tool 6: Wagon Wheel

 
Tool 7: Five Whys

 
Tool 8: Relations Diagram

 
Tool 9: The Fishbone

 
Tool 10: School Improvement Mapping

 
 
References
 
Index

“An invaluable resource for teachers and school leaders; a sensible, practical, and human approach to understanding and using data; an excellent guide to use a broad range of data meaningfully for the improvement of education.”

Yong Zhao, Professor, Presidential Chair
University of Oregon

“Finally, a book that treats data as more than a set of percentages!”

Charre Todd, Science Teacher
Crossett Middle School, Crossett, AR

“This book is filled with great strategies to establish and grow a school’s data team, bringing them from ordinary to extraordinary.”

Brian E. Fernandes, Reading Specialist & Literacy Coach
Hampden Meadows School, Barrington, RI

“Many districts and schools are approaching school improvement by implementing bits and pieces of data work without understanding how to build a foundation beneath the practices. This book provides practical and effective tools that can strengthen any improvement program through the efficient use of both quantitative and qualitative data.”

Carrie Carpenter, Instructional Coach
Redmond School Districut 2J, Redmond, OR

“We’ve been talking data, producing data, collecting data, analyzing data, and using data to drive instruction for over ten years. But most of us in the field still don't really know how to do that. This book shows teachers and school leaders how to use data to improve student learning.”

Scott Hollinger, Instructional Coach for Principals and Teachers
Communities Foundation of Texas: Texas High School Project, McAllen, TX

“I am excited to say that educators finally have a book that provides a practical toolkit to help increase data fluency and begin using it to foster students’ growth. The authors provide precise tools for drilling down into the data and using it in a way that benefits our students.”

Florie Buono, Assistant Principal for Curriculum & Instruction
Gulf High School, New Port Richey, FL

"This book does for educators what a great teacher does for students: it motivates and instructs. Rob and Pam deliver powerful concepts in a very accessible way. They provide a logical framework for educators to work through tough problems while building energy and motivation."

Sandra Husk, Superintendent
Salem-Keizer Public Schools, OR

"This practical toolkit takes an educator from data parlysis to data analysis. Hess and Robbins have assembled a masterful resource of templates, facilitation tips, data analysis instruments and examples of achievement success. There is something of value for every teacher, principal or superintendent who endeavors to improve student performance."

Betty Flad, Program Director, Educational Administration
Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

“This practical and insightful guidebook provides tools for principals and teacher leaders to facilitate the cycle of continuous improvement and achieve gains in both student and staff learning. Rob Hess and Pam Robbins have synthesized best practices from both research and the field that are both balanced and comprehensive.”

Candace Stevens, CLASS Project Coach, Consultant
The Chalkboard Project, Foundations for a Better Oregon, Portland, OR

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