Data-Based Decision Making

Data is a term frequently used in education. The terms data-based decision making and data-driven decision making are also often used. But what is data and what decisions are driven by this data? Merriam-Webster (2015) defines data as “facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something”.   The key to using data wisely is to identify the “something” that will be analyzed or planned before actually starting to gather the data.

Schools make many decisions that require analysis of high-quality, rich data. Such decisions inform strategic planning, school zoning, resource allocation, teacher assignment, and instructional practices. According to Earl and Katz (2006),

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Master Scheduling for Student Success

A school’s master schedule provides valuable information about teacher schedules, course offerings, and class locations. At the same time, a master schedule also reveals much about a school’s culture, priorities, and beliefs. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP, 2011) noted that a school’s master schedule “is like looking at an MRI of the inner workings of a school. It is the window to the soul of the school” (para. 3). Similarly, Crawford (2008) observed that “if you want to get a window into a school’s core values and identify competing goals, look at how schools allocate and use time” (p. 252). How can a school create a master schedule that reflects its inclusive values and priorities?

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Collaboration Corner – September/October 2015

ccsmallThe Link Lines newsletter features answers to questions submitted by readers. For the September/October issue, the following question was posed by an educator from Amelia County Public Schools after reading Laying the Foundation: Considerations for Scheduling Students with Disabilities.

Dear T/TAC,

“I would like more information about class grouping. If 20-40% of the students have IEP’s, then what should the breakdown of the rest of the students abilities be rated. In other words should the other students be low, medium or high achieving students? What percentage? Thank you for any help you can give me on this topic.” [Read more…]