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Professional development for data-driven improvement

testingSpurred on by the Obama administration, U.S. school systems are making significant progress in using student achievement data to drive continuous improvement. But a recent report from the U.S. Department of Education suggests that educators are still looking for examples of how best to connect data to instruction, underscoring the need for more professional development focused on best practices in data-driven improvement.

With the generous support of CompassLearning, we’ve put together this collection of stories from our archives that address this important topic. As you explore these resources, we hope you’ll find ideas to help you bolster your staff development programs in your own district.

—The Editors

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Professional development for data-driven improvement

Advanced analytics: Helping educators approach the ideal

Advanced analytics may help schools anticipate trends that may help school leaders make key decisions.

In the business sector, companies have been using predictive analysis for years to improve performance, predict stocks, or take action and change direction when troubling trends appear. They…

Are qualified teachers always effective teachers?

An effective teacher can alter a student's achievement by as much as 50 percentage points.

Amid a growing consensus that “highly qualified” doesn’t necessarily mean “highly effective,” a movement is under way to reshape how the nation views successful teaching.…

Superintendents turn to tech academies to boost skills

Administrators are seeking technology training to boost leadership skills.

As the need for tech-savvy students becomes more pressing, school leaders' technology skills must also keep pace, and superintendents across the nation are enrolling in technology-focused professional development…

NCTAF: Transform teaching through collaboration

Teacher teams can increase student achievement.

According to a new report, 21st-century teaching and learning can only occur if teachers and school staff work together as a collaborative team; simple adjustments to antiquated school…

Survey: Staff development is top ed-tech challenge

CTOs ranked planning as their highest professional development need, followed by instruction, policy, and leadership.

Making sure staff members have the professional development they need to ensure effective 21st-century education is the top challenge facing school district CTOs, according to a recent survey.…

Videos highlight successful school reform

The films aim to show how difficult changes in schools can lead to dramatic improvements in student achievement.

To help local leaders with their own school-reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has produced a new series of online videos highlighting successful school improvements from…

Duncan: Superintendent prep programs must change

Even more than theory, superintendents need hands-on vocational training, Sec. Duncan said.

States and school systems, with the help of the federal government, must work harder to improve the way superintendents are trained and prepared to lead the nation’s schools,…

Victory in Victorville: A replicable model for school improvement


Sixth Street Prep School is a K-6 charter school in the Victor Elementary School District in San Bernardino County, Calif. Linda Mikels became Sixth Street's principal in 2001…

Gates Foundation seeks keys to effective teaching

Ever since Americans sent their children to one-room schoolhouses, parents have known what makes a good school: inspiring, organized, and creative teachers. But researchers haven't been able to…

Duncan: Use tech to leverage change

To avoid being caught short when stimulus money runs out, school officials should use the short-term federal funding to upgrade technology and improve the tracking of student data,…

eSN Special Report: 21st-Century Teacher Education

Today's teachers must use technology if students are to gain 21st-century skills.

When Sandy Armstrong was studying to become a teacher, technology instruction was limited to learning how to use an overhead projector or run a reel-to-reel movie over a…

RTI: Not just for special education

Once a concept only well known in special-education circles, Response to Intervention (RTI)--which responds to individual students' needs by taking a data-based approach to instruction--has taken hold in…

Forum calls for better data use in education

Speakers at a forum about the use of longitudinal data in education stressed the importance of comprehensive data systems that follow students throughout their educational careers--from kindergarten to…

Technology key to award-winning district’s excellence

A North Carolina school system has won a prestigious national award for excellence, and its superintendent credits the district's use of technology for such initiatives as distance education,…

Technology key to analyzing assessment data

Through the careful application of technology in classroom assessments, schools and teachers can improve instruction for students, and states can develop comprehensive longitudinal data systems to better analyze…

Teachers: Give us better tech training, support

After more than decade of investment in school technology, educators say they still don't feel adequately prepared to integrate instructional software into their classrooms and aren't getting the…


CompassLearning Resources

Case Study:
Talley Middle School Achieves AYP for the First Time, using an online curriculum with intensive professional development, Response to Intervention strategies and differentiated instruction (pdf).

White Paper:
Response to Intervention in Reading
This publication discusses Response to Intervention (RTI) techniques and the importance of data in effective RTI programs.

Advanced PD for Continual Support
Foundational Support and Progress Monitoring
Ongoing advanced professional development can help educators at the leadership and teacher levels develop a strong base of knowledge on implementation, teacher and student utilization, and data analysis.

School Effectiveness Report:
Foundational Support and Progress Monitoring
Duval County Shows FCAT Math Improvement after middle school and high school Odyssey implementation and professional development (pdf).

White Paper:
I’m 21 Now … and Accountable: A Case for Coherence in 21st Century School Transformation
This paper explores 21st century skill development in American education, given the requirements of a changing job market (pdf).

In-Person and Virtual Learning
Maximum Results and Convenience
Blended, on-site, and virtual delivery methods for professional development ensure that services fit participant schedules and budgets.