[Assessment 1478] Re: Using Data: Getting Staff Buy-In

Archived Content Disclaimer

This page contains archived content from a LINCS email discussion list that closed in 2012. This content is not updated as part of LINCS’ ongoing website maintenance, and hyperlinks may be broken.

Sandy Strunk sandy_strunk at IU13.org
Mon Dec 8 14:02:32 EST 2008


My experience has been that teachers are sometimes reluctant to use data because it seems so far removed from their day-to-day routines. We started by just feeding back to our teachers the information they had given us about their learners (test scores, attendance, goal attainment, progress, etc.). The first reaction was often "this isn't accurate" -- creating an opportunity for us to talk about the importance of validating data.

Once our data because more accurate, we began giving teachers their individual class information as well as the mean information for our program. This allowed teachers to compare their attendance, goal attainment, and learner gains to the average for our program. That led to many questions about why performance varied so much from class to class and fostered many opportunities for sharing best practices.

Finally, we asked our teachers to use their data to do written progress reports for our learners three times a year (we paid teachers for this time). We generated learner progress monitoring reports from our database, printed them with labels for teachers, and teachers added comments and observations prior to mailing each individual report. This not only made the data more useful for teachers, but it also engaged our learners with their individual data and underscored the correlation between regular attendance and learning gains.

I will also say that whether you're a teacher, student or administrator, looking at your own performance data is a humbling experience. A key for me has been to describe, not judge, and to talk about what I can do to try and change the data -- rather than assign blame because the data is not what I want it to be.

I also like the idea of having teachers generate their own inquiries and we try to support those inquiries through our professional development system. Unfortunately, as Jackie noted, part-time staff are often already stretched, so there's a limit on what they're able to take on in addition to their teaching.

Sandra J. Strunk
Program Director for Community Education
Lancaster Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13
1020 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601
(717) 606-1873
(717) 606-1705 - fax

Service, support...solutions

-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Jackie Coelho
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 12:47 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1475] Re: Using Data: Getting Staff Buy-In

At the risk of sounding snarky....which I sincerely do NOT intend, I
think that most ABE teachers are underpaid and would see using data as
worthwhile if they were not already doing so much for so little. If
data will lead to a better program, will it also lead to a better
salary?

Also, I think it is only fair to point out that data cannot
necessarily inform all decisions. The target population is a moving
target, groups come and go and what holds true for one group may not
apply to another.

After all that, perhaps having instructors use their own data, from
experiments they themselves have developed and conducted, may help get
buy-in. What do they need? What do they want to know? How can they
find out? What can they do with the information. If people are not
used to dealing with data, then perhaps they need to see the power of
the data first. Then they may feel more comfortable looking at data
from an outside source.

Just some thoughts from a practioner.

On 12/8/08, Marie Cora <marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com> wrote:

>

>

>

> A subscriber sent:

>

> How do you get staff to buy-in to a bigger focus on using data? My staff

> really see this as an extra layer of effort and work at this point. It's

> hard to get them to see that some initial work on this will eventually lead

> to better teaching and programming. Thanks.

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

> Marie Cora, Moderator

>

> Assessment Discussion List

>

> National Institute for Literacy

>

> Email me at: marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com

>

> Subscribe at:

> http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment

>

>

>

> Coordinator of Assessment

>

> Program Planning Resource Collection

>

> National Institute for Literacy

>

> Visit at:

> http://www.nifl.gov/lincs/resourcecollections/resource_collections.html

>

>

>

>

>

>

> -------------------------------

> National Institute for Literacy

> Assessment mailing list

> Assessment at nifl.gov

> To unsubscribe or change your subscription settings, please go to

> http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment

> Email delivered to jackie.coelho at gmail.com

>

>

-------------------------------
National Institute for Literacy
Assessment mailing list
Assessment at nifl.gov
To unsubscribe or change your subscription settings, please go to http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment
Email delivered to sandy_strunk at iu13.org