In districts across the country, teachers are inundated with student data. While a powerful tool for teaching and learning, student data in vast quantities can be challenging and time-consuming to navigate. Moreover, data analysis does not automatically transform classrooms: without honest reflection, rich collaboration, focus on results, and mutual accountability, student learning outcomes will not improve. Teachers need structures and support to analyze student data and make effective use of meeting time to ensure the instructional changes that will improve student achievement are actually being made in the classroom. Boston Public schools is currently implementing a plan to meet these needs. A team of Inquiry Facilitators works with 23 schools across the district to employ the Harvard Data Wise Improvement Cycle. BPS Inquiry Facilitators work with Teacher Leaders and their team members to build capacity, improve the quality of meeting time, make teaching responsive to student needs, and analyze the effectiveness of new instructional initiatives. We propose that this idea be broadened to include more schools across our district and that other districts take a similar approach to scaling teacher-driven data inquiry. Ultimately, we propose that student needs, as identified by teachers through the inquiry process, drive the actions of our district.
Idea No. 369