Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: your district or school wants to implement data-driven instruction to help teachers regularly identify gaps in student learning, plan together to reteach, and personalize instruction for all students. Everyone envisions a smooth, virtuous cycle of information, reaction, and continuous improvement.
But it doesn’t quite work. Data reports arrive late, team meetings don’t seem productive, and teachers aren’t sure how to act on the results they see. Maybe teachers give daily “exit tickets,” or consult reams of data right before annual high-stakes tests—but don't use data collectively and effectively to shape instruction every 6-8 weeks to build student learning.
Data-driven instruction, like all crucial ed reforms, only works when the right pieces are in place. In our experience working with schools and districts, we’ve seen that this involves highly functional teaching teams, collaborative planning time, clear data reports, supporting structures for student intervention, and more. It means that school leaders are willing and able to reorganize their people, time, and money, to make data-driven instruction (or what we call DDI) a transformational practice.
Yet there are many schools that successfully practice DDI. So we at Education Resource Strategies (ERS) created a suite of materials to showcase exactly how DDI works at an example school and to provide district and school leaders detailed guidance on the resource implications of this strategy. Through the story of Queens Metropolitan High School, a diverse urban school in New York City, district and school leaders can:
This suite of tools is part of our support for what we call Strategic School Design: the deliberate organization of resources—people, time, money and technology—to meet a school’s unique needs. In the coming months, we will add similar tools (videos, interactive presentations, and Best Practice Templates) for other design strategies to illustrate what they look like in action, and to unpack what resources are required to make them successful.
We want to hear from you on how to make these tools better!
These tools and many other design resources will be ultimately be located on ERS’ new online platform called School Designer, which will be our hub for all things school design. Beyond housing our curriculum, we also use the platform to collaborate with and lead schools through our design process. School Designer can also be fully customized to support any district’s design efforts, and will be unveiled later in 2015.
Sign up for our newsletter to receive a notification when this brand new platform and all accompanying tools are released to the public, and reach out to Genevieve Green at email@example.com with any feedback or recommendations on our developing school design tools.