“The Authority of Inscrutable…”

One constant, unrelenting message we educators hear is data are life. All are data. Data are all.* And yet, I sense our fumblings and amateurish attempts to understand and analyze data fail us, and moreover, our students. We are often told to ignore qualitative factors that any scientist worth her salt would question, annotate, and contextualize. In school, those reasonable questions might include what students are in honors classes, or block schedules, or are they suffering from depression, trauma, or discomfort of food or housing insecurities? Does the staff work in congruent cross-content, grade level teams with a cohort of…

Adding it up.

https://giphy.com/embed/3o7btPCcdNniyf0ArS via GIPHY Since I asked the question not many answers appeared. Time to put on my Cape of Hard Research and Thinking, TO THE INTERNET! AWAY! Just how do we constructively analyze, evaluate, and make meaning out of student data? The fundamental questions of a PLC frame the discussion: what do we want students to learn, what do we do if they don’t, and what do we do next if they do? From the data on display, it would appear that many students stalled: the more capable ones have nowhere to go next, and the struggling ones didn’t make connections…

Hot piles of data.

https://giphy.com/embed/xQrlUXZkcH6y4 via GIPHY Addendum: I wrote a follow-up four days later: Adding It Up Well, today we had a data discussion. And it wasn’t pretty. I got a little excited when I saw that the SBA ‘Brief Writes’ had gone up, but that was mostly for 7th grade. And though I shared so much with the 7th-grade team, I tried to sell the 8th-grade team on having students do them, but with no luck, except for one colleague who worked with me the last three weeks before the test. In essence, and in the most passive way possible, an idea…