Schools give many tests throughout the year to identify students’ skills and gaps in their learning, including universal screening, diagnostic, formative, interim, and summative assessments. These tests generate a huge amount of data meant to guide instruction—but all of this information can be overwhelming if teachers don’t have an easy way to process it.
There is such a thing as having too much data. If teachers have to sort through an abundance of data to figure out what their students need, and if they don’t know which data points they should focus on to achieve the greatest impact on learning, then they won’t use data to inform their instruction—and the money invested in data analysis and reporting tools will have been largely wasted.
That used to be our experience in California’s Buena Park School District, which serves nearly 5,000 students in grades K-8. We had a great data tool, but teachers weren’t using it. After making a few simple changes, however, we saw our teachers’ use of data begin to skyrocket.…Read More