[Assessment 1536] Re: Getting staff used to using data

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Bakin, Barry barry.bakin at lausd.net
Tue Dec 16 18:14:17 EST 2008


Since we're the ones providing the professional development, I can
assure you that it was of the highest quality!



But yes of course, you're right. There are many variables that would
need to be controlled for before one could be sure of a direct
relationship between professional development and attendance but this is
what we're starting with! Having said that, one figure that is quite
interesting to us is that the number of student enrollments required to
generate 1 unit of ADA has dropped pretty dramatically in the last 8
years, but our ESL ADA has risen. For example, in the 2000/2001 school
year there were some 189,000 ESL enrollments generating about 37,700
units of ADA meaning that it took 5.02 student enrollments to generate 1
ADA. In 2007/2008, there were 167,800 ESL enrollments and about 40,900
units of ADA returning a figure of 4.1 enrollments per 1 ADA. At the
least, these figures appear to indicate that at least some aspect of
efficiency has increased. Students must be coming to class more often,
staying enrolled longer or both...


We're planning on saying it's because our teachers have been coming to
our trainings so students like the classes more and feel they're
learning more... ;)



Barry





________________________________

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Jackie Coelho
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:56 AM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1534] Re: Getting staff used to using data



Barry,

Thanks for explaining that. I think there are so many variables that
any study of this nature needs to be considered very carefully. For
example, of what quality was the professional development? Was the
information in the professional development used by the instructor? How
many of the students in a particular class would have dropped out
regardless of what the instructor does due to life circumstances? Is is
possible that the professional development had a negative impact?

I am not a statistician, but I imagine some of these variables could
be accounted for with a large enough sample. However, my question would
be, how large would the sample have to be?

Teaching is both an art and a science. The science part can be
measured. The art part cannot. I personally think we need to be
constantly mindful of the art of it all.

Creating a community within a classroom, a place where students feel
connected and where they believe others care and support them, others
including their classmates, goes further than any one method or approach
to teaching material.





Jackie Coelho

ABE Instructor



On 12/15/08, Bakin, Barry <barry.bakin at lausd.net> wrote:

The attempt to correlate student attendance and retention with teacher
participation in professional development is still in very preliminary
stages and a professional statistician might say that we're going about
it in the wrong way but one aspect of what is being discussed relates to
a "retention" score being looked at that is derived from the total
number of hours all students enrolled in a class could potentially have
attended during a certain time period (if all of those students had
attended every hour from the time they had enrolled to the time they
left the course or the specified time period was reached) divided by the
actual hours those same students attended. So let's say that some 42
students could have attended a maximum total of 3000 hours of class time
during the time period being examined. The actual attendance of those
students during that time period was 1500 hours. 1500 total actual
hours divided by 3000 total possible hours gives a 50 percent figure. By
doing the same calculation for every class offered, a division-wide
"average retention" figure can be established for a particular type of
class.


The idea is that by identifying teachers who have taken staff
development courses, and then looking at their individual average
retention figure "pre" and "post" training, the effect of the training
on an individual teacher's retention might be demonstrated and in turn
the effect on all teachers who have attended trainings as a group. I'm
not sure what variables other than the training are being considered.
Again, these ideas are all preliminary and experimental so they're not
for wider dissemination. It would obviously be preferable to have a
controlled double-blind study but that seems to be out of reach at the
moment...



Barry





________________________________

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Nancy R Faux/AC/VCU
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 11:23 AM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1521] Re: Getting staff used to using data




Hi Barry,

Could you please explain how you are correlating student attendance and
retention with teacher participation in professional development, or the
workshops that you offer? We are exploring ways of doing this, also.

Nancy

*********************************************************
Nancy R. Faux
ESOL Specialist
Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center
Virginia Commonwealth University
3600 W. Broad Street, Suite 669
Richmond, VA 23230-4930
nfaux at vcu.edu
http://www.valrc.org
1-800-237-0178 <http://www.valrc.org/>

"Bakin, Barry" <barry.bakin at lausd.net>
Sent by: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov

12/11/2008 12:21 PM

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Subject

[Assessment 1510] Re: Getting staff used to using data










Data is not just for classroom instructional staff to analyze. Our staff
meeting yesterday(of teacher trainers responsible for staff
development)focused on using attendance and ADA statistics collected
since 1999 as a way to determine whether or not our team's staff
development efforts over the last several years has resulted in
increases in student attendance and retention by students whose teachers
have taken staff development workshops. We have an immediate and
pressing interest for doing so, as expected district-wide budget
shortfalls of millions of dollars are leading some at the district level
to advocate for the elimination of staff-development programs in the
coming year. We obviously feel that teachers who improve their skills
will retain students better than those who don't, but we'd like to be
able to point to data that demonstrates that.

Barry Bakin
ESL Teacher Adviser
Division of Adult and Career Education
Los Angeles Unified School District
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