The trend in education toward data-driven decision making resulted in one Midwestern school district initiating district wide data teams composed of 1,400 certified educators. The goal of the data teams was to improve classroom instruction and raise student achievement through data collection, analysis, goal setting, and collaborative instructional design at the practitioner level. The teachers' perceptions of the value of these mandated professional learning communities should be considered a critical element in the longitudinal success of the teams. The problem addressed in this research study was that the work produced by each data team would not have been examined for identification of collaborative best practices. The omission of this examination would have resulted in the best practices remaining invisible to the rest of the organization. This qualitative single case study with multiple units of analysis included study of archives and documents such as meeting agendas, meeting minutes, test data analysis, SMART goals, essential outcomes, designed lessons, and a final report submitted by each team. Instruments used in this study included a data shell, protocol sheets, and the development of a chronological flow chart to organize the data for analysis. The participants in the case study were the data team members of all core and ancillary data teams in one middle school within the larger school district. Data analysis revealed that the most frequent activities of the data teams were developing common formative assessments and designing instructional strategies. The frequency of the meetings sustained the work of the data teams. Teachers exercised autonomy and pursued feedback from the administration. As data collection and storage systems become more sophisticated, a future quantitative study of the effects of data use on student achievement is recommended.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational evaluation, Educational leadership, Middle School education|
|Keywords:||Best practices, Collaboration, Data teams, Middle school, Student data|
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