In December, we acknowledged the Meriden Public Schools for its innovative use of data to drive decision-making. When a district integrates regular data analysis into its teaching and leadership practices, the whole community can start to make informed decisions about what’s working for kids. And, when we conducted an analysis of Meriden’s data and IT systems in 2013, we learned that Meriden is really using some creative approaches to monitoring the well-being, academic outcomes, and progress of its teachers.
That’s why we collaborated with the district to produce a website that highlights some of Meriden’s achievements and also provides other district leaders with a starting point for self-reflection and improvement of their own data and IT systems. This Data Systems Guidebook contains a self-evaluation tool that we really hope will facilitate discussions among district-level school leaders about data and IT systems. (Don’t worry: the site does not save any of the data. We can’t see your responses when you fill out the evaluation. It’s for your internal use only!) The self-evaluations are broken out into three areas that are critical to ensuring sound data practices: district-wide practices, school-level practices, and technology infrastructure. Although the self-evaluations are the website’s focus, this tool is not meant to be used for strictly evaluative purposes. Ultimately, we hope districts will use this tool to develop priorities for improvement in the areas of data and IT.
As an example, let’s take a look at the first area, District Performance.
As you can see, this chapter is divided into several subsections—topics that districts will need to consider if they’re going to develop well-thought-out district-level data systems. The first sub-section is about strategic planning.Read More »