Monday, June 11, 2012

Why Data?

I have been some type of school administrator for six years and now beginning my seventh.  During that time I have made changes in policy and academics because we had meetings and felt it was the right thing to do.  I use the word felt because I do not remember ever collecting data to help make that decision.  I am starting a new position at Black Hawk Elementary where the previous principal was very involved with data and the importance it played in affecting the school environment and  I also had the opportunity with the Burlington Community School District to receive data training and how to create data teams.  This has been a wonderful experience and now makes me wonder why I ever made any decision affecting academics without the use of data.  I have been reading The Data Teams Experience a great book written by Dr. Angela Perry.  The book is extremely well written and very easy to follow.  The process of what should happen at a data team meeting is well laid out and easy to understand.  I can not for the life of me think of a better way to make decisions about a school or business without looking at data.  I feel very fortunate that the previous administrator did a great job of building a data team for the school now I am going to take the next step and create three data teams for grade levels.  I also know that I need to provide time by investing our staff meetings and building professional development to the process.  I figure all the other tasks completed during staff meetings can be handled via social media and that other professional development would be given based upon what data tells us we need to do.  If you have been thinking about getting involved with using data, but not sure where to begin read The Data Team Experience and the process will be made that much simpler.  In fact I am creating a power point that the staff members will be able to view even before we have our first meeting to discuss the change.  This way the staff will have data before we even talk about the different grade level teams.

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