Using Data is more about collaborative inquiry resulting in teachers using their data to investigate the really tough challenges in helping kids succeed at higher levels.  The data is the catalyst, but the real work is the dialogue.  We’ve learned through what we’ve come to call “the Using Data Process”, when teachers’ natural curiosity and desire to make sense of what they are seeing is encouraged through structured dialogue, it becomes easier to open the door for hard conversations. For example, in one of our schools, teachers noticed a disparity between the performance of their special needs students and their Title I students.  The Using Data Process led them to examine the programs being used in both areas and to ask questions about their instructional practice. In most settings, we are very reluctant to question the practices of our co-workers, but in the environment where authentic dialogue (Four-Phase Dialogue) and the Norms of Collaboration are the NORM, teachers are serious about figuring out what’s working and what isn’t. It’s never about individuals.  In the Dennis-Yarmouth case study mentioned earlier, you can read an example of how the Norms of Collaboration, are enabling teachers to get to the tough questions without judgment or fear of consequences in one district.