Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Data Driven Decision Making

In today's professional development meeting, the administrative team rolled out their shiny new toy--Data Walls. We listened to an hour and a half lesson on the how and why of collecting data to inform instruction. It may come as no surprise to you, but I am not all that excited about this project.
My disinterest doesn't stem from a belief that data cannot help inform instruction; instead, it comes from my belief the good teachers are already doing this anyway. Additionally, my disinterest comes from a lack of planning on the part of the instructors. In order to make decisions about what to focus on, I would expect to have in my hands the pre-existing data like the state exam scores. With those in hand, our data teams could peruse the data to determine what area needs immediate focus. But no, we didn't have that.
And this lack of information was only part of my problem. In addition to our regular staff meetings and department meetings, we are now required to meet with our data teams twelve times between nown and January. Those of you who have those important jobs in which you have hours of meetings will need to forgive me for complaining about an additional 18 hours of meetings, but I just have much better things to do than analyze data--namely, I need to prepare to teach in order for that data to change. And again, forgive me for complaining, but because the wonderful state of Connecticut is so prestigious, my certification from lowly Washington State, doesn't transfer smoothly. This means that I am being paid as a sub until certification happens. But, to be certified, I have to take two Praxis exams--which aren't offered again until November.
Dang it, that turned into a rant. I didn't want that.

2 Comments:

At 4:43 PM , Anonymous Mary Ann McKenney said...

I fel your pain. I have been taking GACE tests - Georgia's dumbed down Praxis tests (they don't give you a score other than pass/fail because it might hurt your feelings). Anyway, I found a lovey book available free (love that word) at http://www.lulu.com/content/118277 - these are Laurel Burdette's notes for the middle school science test. What is brilliant is the way she took the "need to knows" from the ets site http://www.ets.org then Praxis then for the test taker, then test at a glance and download the pdfs you need. Once she had that information, she build her study guide to ensure she had notes on everything. I have used her techniques elsewhere. You;ll do fine.

 
At 5:19 AM , Blogger Sunny said...

Hoop jumping should be the next Olympic sport; educators would win the gold, silver, and bronze medals. Several years ago, I moved from State A to State B and could not get a leadership certificate even thought I had a doctorate in ed leadership from a university in State B and had passed the Praxis in ed leadership. I was still required to have an emergency certificate while I took a basic skills test, worked for several years, etc. This process took so long that I moved out of State B before completing the process. UGH!!

 

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