Leveraging data for student success
Improving education through data-driven decisions
Knapp, L., Glennie, E., & Charles, K. (2016). Leveraging data for student success: Improving education through data-driven decisions. (RTI Press Publication No. BK-0018-1609). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. DOI: 10.3768/rtipress.2016.bk.0018.1609
People providing services to schools, teachers, and students want to know whether these services are effective. With that knowledge, a project director can expand services that work well and adjust implementation of activities that are not working as expected. When finding that an innovative strategy benefits students, a project director might want to share that information with other service providers who could build upon that strategy. Some organizations that fund programs for students will want a report demonstrating the program’s success.
Determining whether a program is effective requires expertise in data collection, study design, and analysis. Not all project directors have this expertise—they tend to be primarily focused on working with schools, teachers, and students to undertake program activities. Collecting and obtaining student-level data may not be a routine part of the program. This book provides an overview of the process for evaluating a program. It is not a detailed methodological text but focuses on awareness of the process. What do program directors need to know about data and data analysis to plan an evaluation or to communicate with an evaluator? Examples focus on supporting college and career readiness programs. Readers can apply these processes to other studies that include a data collection component.
"This step-by-step, user-friendly book on making data-driven decisions could not be more timely. Through a guided approach to obtaining, using, and analyzing data, the authors provide a tool for a broad audience—for the very important role of advancing data use to better serve students.”
—Chrissy Tillery, Director of Evaluation, National Council for Community and Education Partnerships
“In the field of education, data and performance outcomes are now a part of the daily conversation in schools and are critical topics in supporting the academic achievement of our students. Leveraging Data for Student Success is an amazing resource that can help to equip our educational leaders, practitioners, and other professionals in adopting strategies that ultimately help our schools improve and students achieve.”
—Eric Hall, President and CEO, Communities in Schools of North Carolina
“Data, data everywhere... Now what to do with them? You know you're supposed to use them to make instructional decisions, but where to start? The use of student-level data by teachers and school administrators to make program and instructional adjustments is becoming an expectation in the education community. Teachers need formative assessment data to monitor and adjust their instructional decisions, and principals need student progress data to understand if a new program or curriculum is supporting student achievement. This primer takes the mystery out of data collection and analysis as it guides the reader through easy-to-implement strategies for continuous program improvement that benefit students and their teachers.”
—Pat Shane, Past President, National Science Teachers Association, National Science Education Leadership Association, and North Carolina Science Leadership Association