Question: What is data-driven professional development?
- A mouthful
- What you get when you apply data-driven decision making to staff training
- A technique for planning professional development based on research instead of seat-of-the-pants guesswork
- All of the above
- Use more than one assessment tool. Multiple data sources optimize the credibility of results.
- Create a well-developed plan for data collection and a reliable assessment strategy to determine how effective the process is.
- Don't ask teachers to complete all the MyTarget segments in one sitting.
- Strive for what Jim Collins calls "autopsy without blame." Take a clean look at student performance data without focusing on individual instructors.
- Provide adequate resources. Everyone wants to do their best, but with financial and professional resources you can get the tools and key people to help you achieve your goals.
- Personalize the assessment approach according to the culture and needs of your schools.
- Don't think of the data as threatening; it's neither good nor bad.
- Be sure to ask the right questions.
- Don't tie the results to formal evaluations, especially in the beginning, or you won't get cooperation or buy-in.
Stephanie Gold is a San Francisco-based freelancer.