Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Specialist in Education

Department

Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Schools are mandated to be accountable for student learning, yet they are given no mechanism for understanding how to apply data-based decision making to their school improvement efforts. The literature supports the importance of having a data-based school culture in order to positively impact school reform efforts and student learning. This project examines one school's journey as it advanced from limited use of data into a data-based school and how participation with the Wallace Foundation Principal Cohort was a catalyst for that change. Three questions guided the course of the project: (1) What is the relationship of the principal and data leadership in the evolution of a data-based school? (2) How can data analysis be more user friendly for principals and teachers? (3) How can action planning be more user friendly for principals and teachers? Centered on the field experience of a principal, the purpose of this project is to examine the evolution of a school to a data based framework, review the components of the framework and reflect how the Wallace Foundation Principal Cohort influenced that evolution to positively impact teaching and learning. The project provided the following takeaways: (1) A data process is a vital part of a school culture driving student achievement (2) The principal is the leader and guardian of a data based culture. (3) Staff will use the data process if it is easy to use.

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