[Assessment 1533] Re: Getting staff used to using data

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Bakin, Barry barry.bakin at lausd.net
Mon Dec 15 19:20:31 EST 2008

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

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



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 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
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

Please respond to
The Assessment Discussion List <assessment at nifl.gov>


"The Assessment Discussion List" <assessment at nifl.gov>



[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
National Institute for Literacy
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