I Hope This Isn’t Like Rocket Science!

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How Can You Tell What Your Students Aren’t Learning And What Do You Do Once You Know That?

Data-driven decision making has been at the top of the buzzword list in education for the past several years. However, we believe that it is no longer just a “buzzword”—it now encompasses a critical skill set that all educators are responsible for developing and using as part of thekeep-calm-it-s-not-rocket-scienceir professional practice. The thought of working with standardized test and other sorts of assessment data is oftentimes overwhelming to many educators. However, rest assured that the process is truly not rocket science. It will, however, impress your friends and colleagues!

Engaging in a process of data-driven decision making essentially involves looking at multiple sources of student assessment data, reflecting on how and where the assessed knowledge and skills have been taught, and then revising instruction and assessment methods in order to address areas where students may not have performed as well as expected. In a nutshell, the processes really involve making use of student data that you already have likely collected, so there’s no additional work with respect to that part of the process. During these processes, is important to be mindful of the importance of collecting and using multiple measures of student performance in order to get a well-rounded picture of student performance on targeted knowledge and skills.

Being comfortable with and learning how to engage in data-driven processes is in essential skill for the 21st-century educator. It is critical that neither teachers nor administrators shy away from exposing themselves to these critical skills. For more information about the processes of data-driven decision making and to read the entire chapter titled How Can You Tell What Your Students Aren’t Learning And What Do You Do Once You Know That?

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