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The Data Toolkit

The Data Toolkit
Ten Tools for Supporting School Improvement

Foreword by Kate Dickson

November 2012 | 160 pages | Corwin
How to accelerate analysis into action

Using data for school improvement is a key goal of Race to the Top, therefore now is the time to make data-driven school improvement a priority. However, many educators are drowning in data. Boost your professional learning community's ability to translate data into action with this newest book from Robert T. Hess and Pam Robbins. The Data Toolkit provides ten easy-to-use tools that don't require statistical expertise, can be implemented in a timely manner, and facilitate problem-solving at classroom, school, and district levels. These proven methods help educators:

- Frame the questions

- Drive the conversation

- Engage in productive reflection

- Uncover understandings

- Create a data-driven plan

- Achieve and monitor results

Written in an educator-friendly format each chapter contains instructions on using the tool, a sample scenario, and examples—practical tools that will help your PLC be the best it can be.

Also included are case studies that show how data teams, PLCs, and individual teachers have used the book's methods in their own settings. The culminating school improvement mapping tool guides the team through designing an action plan focused on increasing student learning and achievement outcomes.

Foreword by Kate Dickson
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Build Your Team
The Power of Relationships  
Tool 1: The Smalley Team-Building Personality Test  
Another Team-Building Strategy: Using Objects to Reflect Personalities  
High-Functioning Teams  
Improvement Means Change, and Change Means Conflict  
Understanding How Change Occurs  
Team Member Roles and Responsibilities  
TIPS Framework for Data Teams  
Additional Helpful Hints  
Chapter 2: Identify the Problem: Using Data to Transform Our Intentions
Tool 2: Identify the Problem  
Using Data to Unpack the Problem of Mobility  
Vertical Alignment and Mobility  
Using Identify the Problem in a Classroom  
Data Reflection Helps Budget Woes  
A Happy Ending to Budget Woes  
In the Field: Identify the Problem  
Putting It All Together  
Chapter 3: The Three Guiding Questions: Making Instruction Work
Data and Conversation  
Tool 3: Three Guiding Questions  
How to Use Three Guiding Questions  
Asking the Right Questions  
The Power of Thinking  
Corbett: A District That Thinks  
Conversation Promotes Thinking and Reflection  
In the Field: Three Guiding Questions  
Putting It All Together  
Chapter 4: Analyze Your Students: Let the Data Decide
Teach to the Top  
Analyzing Driving Quantitatively  
Creating the Standard  
Measuring to a Standard  
The Kennewick Model  
Analyzing Students in Local Districts  
Classroom Example  
In the Field: A Kindergarten Success  
Putting It All Together  
Chapter 5: Four Quadrants: Creating Crosshairs With Data
Tool 5: Four Quadrants: Creating Crosshairs With Data  
Reeves's Four Quadrants: Lucky, Leader, Loser, and Learner  
Using the Four Quadrants to Gauge RTI Progress  
Using the Four Quadrants to Analyze Classroom Data  
Classroom Example: Third-Grade Classroom Data in Four Quadrants  
Using the Four Quadrants to Analyze Grade-Level, School-Level, and District-Level Data  
Teacher and Principal Effectiveness in Four Quadrants  
Instructional Leadership Standards for Principals  
Building Management Standards for Principals  
Teacher Effectiveness in the Four Quadrants  
Classroom-Based Instructional Standards  
Non-Classroom-Based Standards  
In The Field: Analyzing Freshman Failures  
Putting It All Together  
Chapter 6: Wagon Wheel: Using Multiple Points of Data to Drive Instruction
Tool 6: Wagon Wheel  
Mapping Fourth-Grade Writing on the Wagon Wheel  
Reflecting on the Data  
Using the Wagon Wheel to Measure InTASC Standards  
Learner and Learning  
Content Knowledge  
Instructional Practice  
Professional Responsibility  
In The Field: Using the Wagon Wheel to Analyze RTI Effectiveness  
Putting It All Together  
Chapter 7: Five Whys: The Power of Questions
Tool 7: Five Whys  
Persistent Achievement Gaps  
A Diverse District Beating the Odds  
Schools Beating the Odds  
The Power of Working Together  
Teaching Students to Think  
21st Century Skills: The Future is Now  
In The Field: Implementing a Core Program  
Putting It All Together  
Chapter 8: Relations Diagram: Discovering the Key Drivers
Tool 8: Relations Diagram  
Tackling Discipline Problems  
Motivating Students  
In The Field: READ 180 Revisited  
Putting It All Together  
Chapter 9: The Fishbone: Making a Difference With Data
Leadership Matters  
Real Education Reform  
Making a Difference in the Classroom  
Tool 9: The Fishbone  
Improving Tenth-Grade Math Scores  
Everyone Writes  
In The Field: Green Acres, The Place to Be  
Putting It All Together  
Chapter 10: School Improvement Mapping: Making Strategic Decisions and Taking Action
Tool 10: School Improvement Mapping  
Goal Setting  
Using Data to Drive Goals  
Clear Strategies  
Specific Actions  
Improving Writing Districtwide with Goals, Strategies, and Actions  
Creating the Building Blocks of Excellence  
Hiring the Best  
Professional Development  
Evaluation for Meaningful Feedback  
Improving Instructional Feedback  
The Power of Mentoring as an Improvement Tool  
Moving to the Next Level: A New Model of Systemic Improvement  
Running in Circles  
Collaboration = Connectivity  
Stepping Up to Collaboration  
In The Field: High School Mentoring Project  
Putting It All Together  
11. Now What? Using the Tools in the Classroom, School, and District
Tool 1: The Smalley Team-Building Personality Test  
Tool 2: Identify the Problem  
Tool 3: Three Guiding Questions  
Tool 4: Analyze Your Students  
Tool 5: Four Quadrants  
Tool 6: Wagon Wheel  
Tool 7: Five Whys  
Tool 8: Relations Diagram  
Tool 9: The Fishbone  
Tool 10: School Improvement Mapping  

“An invaluable resource for teachers and school leaders; a sensible, practical, and human approach to understanding and using data; an excellent guide to use a broad range of data meaningfully for the improvement of education.”

Yong Zhao, Professor, Presidential Chair
University of Oregon

“Finally, a book that treats data as more than a set of percentages!”

Charre Todd, Science Teacher
Crossett Middle School, Crossett, AR

“This book is filled with great strategies to establish and grow a school’s data team, bringing them from ordinary to extraordinary.”

Brian E. Fernandes, Reading Specialist & Literacy Coach
Hampden Meadows School, Barrington, RI

“Many districts and schools are approaching school improvement by implementing bits and pieces of data work without understanding how to build a foundation beneath the practices. This book provides practical and effective tools that can strengthen any improvement program through the efficient use of both quantitative and qualitative data.”

Carrie Carpenter, Instructional Coach
Redmond School Districut 2J, Redmond, OR

“We’ve been talking data, producing data, collecting data, analyzing data, and using data to drive instruction for over ten years. But most of us in the field still don't really know how to do that. This book shows teachers and school leaders how to use data to improve student learning.”

Scott Hollinger, Instructional Coach for Principals and Teachers
Communities Foundation of Texas: Texas High School Project, McAllen, TX

“I am excited to say that educators finally have a book that provides a practical toolkit to help increase data fluency and begin using it to foster students’ growth. The authors provide precise tools for drilling down into the data and using it in a way that benefits our students.”

Florie Buono, Assistant Principal for Curriculum & Instruction
Gulf High School, New Port Richey, FL

"This book does for educators what a great teacher does for students: it motivates and instructs. Rob and Pam deliver powerful concepts in a very accessible way. They provide a logical framework for educators to work through tough problems while building energy and motivation."

Sandra Husk, Superintendent
Salem-Keizer Public Schools, OR

"This practical toolkit takes an educator from data parlysis to data analysis. Hess and Robbins have assembled a masterful resource of templates, facilitation tips, data analysis instruments and examples of achievement success. There is something of value for every teacher, principal or superintendent who endeavors to improve student performance."

Betty Flad, Program Director, Educational Administration
Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

“This practical and insightful guidebook provides tools for principals and teacher leaders to facilitate the cycle of continuous improvement and achieve gains in both student and staff learning. Rob Hess and Pam Robbins have synthesized best practices from both research and the field that are both balanced and comprehensive.”

Candace Stevens, CLASS Project Coach, Consultant
The Chalkboard Project, Foundations for a Better Oregon, Portland, OR

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