State testing data is at the epicenter of contemporary educational practice. Educators,
parents and students are responding to the increase in standardized testing and the accompanying emphasis on data in varied, often polarized ways. Despite mixed initial reactions, school districts are beginning to adapt and are striving to utilize data in ways that improve student outcomes without reducing individual pupils to a set of numbers. CASDA’s Data and Analysis Functional Service Team offers educators and administrators a fresh approach to data practices and enables classroom instructors to use this vast store of information in the service of enhanced learning opportunities.
The Data and Analysis Functional Service Team bases its work on their innovative “Common Core Skills” concepts. This approach inverts the “teaching to the test” paradigm. Rather than utilizing class time to prepare students for very specific types of questions in order to achieve proficiency, this skills based approach uses the results of tests to identify learning gaps and skill deficits. Analyzing this information allows teachers to build specific, skills-based instructional strategies that meet the needs of all learners.
CASDA’s Data and Analysis experts offer school districts evaluation, training and support to enhance their data protocols. Effective consultations employ a rigorous analysis of existing instructional models and how they relate to standardized testing material. The understanding developed during this process provides valuable insight that guides the creation or modification of data teams and practices. Following this evaluation, CASDA often recommends utilizing the “Professional Learning Community” model in establishing grade or subject level data teams. The PLC’s spirit of continual, evolving and shared learning provides a firm foundation for sustainable improvement in data-driven instruction. Teachers are encouraged to collaborate and share engaging strategies and content that promote the development of the “common core skills” that provide a platform for student achievement throughout their educational career.
The Data and Analysis team works to go beyond numbers and demystify the often confusing rhetoric surrounding data and testing and use this information to better serve the needs of students. Their progressive “Common Core Skills” model and collaborative approach provides districts with the necessary tools to revolutionize their data practice and drive significant, sustainable improvement in student outcomes.