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November 2015 | Volume 73 | Number 3
Doing Data Right
Victoria L. Bernhardt
A school in Hawaii analyzes its data to develop an improvement plan that will benefit everyone.
It's time to get serious about data. Most state departments of education and school districts will say they've been serious about data for the past 15 years, especially since the introduction of the No Child Left Behind act, which considerably upped the accountability ante. Unfortunately, the way many learning organizations in the United States got serious was to look at their high-stakes student achievement results and focus their plans on the lowest-scoring subject area or subgroups of students or on the bubble kids.
We know what happened next. The subject-area scores seesawed, depending on the focus. Social studies and science were neglected in elementary schools because they weren't assessed. Many students weren't challenged because the focus was on getting as many students "proficient" in the easiest way. And if a student was already proficient, no problem. There was no need to focus any extra attention on him or her.
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