Crunching the Numbers

Understanding assessment data is key to responsive interventions and instructional transformation. School districts must be able to determine which teaching strategies are most effective, how much each child has learned, and where work remains to be done.

Local data warehousing and management initiatives help with data collection and reporting, providing tools to measure whether progress goals are being met. Visit the following sites for more information about the benefits of data warehousing and data-driven decision-making.

School Improvement in Maryland explains well-tested data warehousing practices.

Data Use: Data Primer: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory's Data Use provides a helpful introduction to using data for school improvement. The primer's offerings include guidelines for using data to drive instructional decision-making, a list of online resources, plus a tool for helping districts build support for school improvement planning within the community.

School Improvement in Maryland: Why reinvent the wheel when other districts have already implemented successful strategies? Topics covered include understanding standards, assessments, and AYP; the school improvement process; and standards-based instruction.

Data Warehousing Information Center: Educators looking for information about data warehousing will appreciate Larry Greenfield's collection of essays.

Poway Unified School District: Data sources include student information systems, special education, learning management systems, finance, transportation, and human resources.

The Impact of Data-Driven Decision-Making Tools on Educational Practice: This paper adopts a systems perspective to examine how technology-based tools can facilitate or impede decision-making at different levels of a school system. The researchers identify some technical and usability issues districts face in their efforts to harness technology to support instructional planning.

Wikipedia: Data Warehouse: This site covers everything you want to know about the history and components of a data warehouse.

Data Management and Warehousing: How do you design, build, and operate a data warehouse in a large organization such as a school district? David Walker's white paper provides several helpful tips and strategies to consider as you gather and coordinate data from multiple sources.