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The Use and Role of Data in Schools and Districts

Data, data, data. More and more, educators are asked to use data as they work to improve student achievement. And with good reason. Schools that focus on multiple forms of data to diagnose learning problems are able to better target their limited time and energy where students need the most help. Districts that use data are able to allocate resources where they are most needed. Beyond the actionable information that data provides, the process of exploring the data together, identifying root causes, and developing plans to address them enriches the work life of teachers by reducing isolation and encouraging collegial relationships.

In this issue of MI Toolkit, we revisit the use of data. Dorinda Carter discusses how to use data to get to culturally relevant school improvement. Jacquelyn Thompson, along with coauthors Neelam Kher and Jacqueline Swanson, offer insight into how to check if your ISD is serving the needs of all students. Madeline Mavrogordato and Jennifer Paul share specific ways educators can use English proficiency data gleaned from the WIDA ACCESS assessment to guide school improvement. Bryan Beverly adds an overview of Kaufman, Grimm & Miller's Collaborative School Improvement to the MI Toolkit Book Reviews section. This book examines three disticts' efforts to reform and support teaching and learning in their schools through an increased emphasis on employing data-based inquiry into school-level instructional reform strategies.

Another article, by Dr. Theodore Ransaw, is not about data, but addresses a critical issue communities and schools are facing in the wake of the August 2014 tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri.


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Which book review interests you the most? What are some other books you plan to read this month? We'd love to hear your thoughts on  Facebook and Twitter.

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Coaching 101 Foundations

October 21-24, 2014 | Lansing, Michigan