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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How districts prepare site administrators for data -driven decision making
by Ezzani, Miriam Deborah, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 208; 3355411
Abstract (Summary)

The federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act and California’s Public School Accountability Act have mandated California to establish a system of accountability for their districts. Thus, California’s districts have understood the need for data-driven decision making (DDDM) to facilitate the monitoring and improvement of teaching and learning practices to increase student achievement.

The intent of this qualitative study is to investigate the types of professional development that districts offer school leaders to increase capacity in DDDM. Five research questions were formulated to guide this study: (1) How do districts build the capacity of school leaders to engage in data-driven decision making? (2) How is the need for professional development assessed? (3) What types of training and support are provided to school site leaders? (4) What evidence is there that leaders put new data-driven practices into place? (5) What knowledge gaps still exist?

Two districts were selected based on their focus to provide principal professional development in DDDM. The districts attributed some of their increase in student achievement to the utilization of data. Interviews of superintendents, district administrators, and principals were the primary source of information. Observations and document analysis were also utilized. The research was conducted through the lens of Data-Informed Leadership, a framework by Knapp et al. (2006).

Professional development for principals at Buck and D’Angelo Unified School Districts lent to models that allowed for breadth and depth. According to participants, principal professional development at these districts directly improved classroom instruction and student outcomes. The superintendents in both districts possessed strategies which made a difference in the preparation of principals in DDDM and in practices that gave way to Data-Informed Leadership. It was the mastery of leadership strategies that moved their organizations into a culture and cycle of inquiry based on data.

While this study provides relevant information and a roadmap into the process by which districts provide school leaders with knowledge in DDDM, further research is necessary in the mastery of leadership strategies in Data-Informed Leadership. Mastery of leadership strategies will ensure an established culture and cycle of inquiry in the use of data.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Datnow, Amanda
Commitee: Heatley, Edmond, Stowe, Kathy
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education(Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration
Keywords: Administrators, Data-driven decision-making, District administrators leadership strategies, District leaders training of principals, District professional development, Principal professional development, Principals, Professional development
Publication Number: 3355411
ISBN: 978-1-109-13964-8
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