Building Data-Driven District Systems

Examples from Three Award-Winning Urban Systems

Authored by: Heather Zavadsky

Handbook of Data-Based Decision Making in Education

Print publication date:  October  2008
Online publication date:  April  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415965033
eBook ISBN: 9780203888803
Adobe ISBN: 9781135890841


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When the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 required increasing achievement for all student groups, districts and schools suddenly needed to learn how to assess student performance to identify specific areas for intervention and acceleration. Slow incremental improvement was no longer acceptable under the potential sanctions of NCLB; districts had to efficiently and effectively raise improvement for all schools, student groups, and grade levels. To address that need and take it to the necessary scale, a district would have to create a well-aligned system in which teachers, principals, and central office administrators comfortably use data on a daily basis to inform decisions on all aspects of learning. The few districts that are on the right path to creating those systems have done three things:

created easily accessible systems and tools that include multiple measures that address numerous aspects of the educational process;

used those systems and tools to create and constantly monitor system alignment and progress; and

instituted data-use within all levels of their system.

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