GUEST BLOGGER: Mary Anne Mather, Using Data Facilitator & Social Media Liaison on Twitter & FaceBook

“Making predictions before analyzing new data raises awareness about existing
assumptions that can influence accurate interpretation of that data.”

The Data Coach’s Guide to Improving Learning for All Students

Your school administrators have made a commitment to data-informed decision making. That most often means that they periodically provide you with reports that include state test scores, benchmark assessment scores, and more—for your state, your district, your school, and your own students. First impulse isThree teachers chart data predictions to scan over the results to see how your students compare with others. Then you might naturally begin to draw some conclusions about who is doing well, who needs help, and what you can do about it. It’s only natural to feel urgent about finding solutions, but before your “take action” impulse kicks in, STOP!

As data-use facilitators, we offer a first-step strategy that may not occur to you, but it can contribute to a bigger pay-off down the road in pinpointing student learning problems, their causes, and next steps. Before even taking a peek at the new data you have in hand, “predict” what you expect it to tell you. (more…)