- Analyze State Accountability Data
- Analyze MSA Data and/or HSA Data
- Identify questions your data raised.
- Identify priority needs to address in the school improvement plan
- Did your school fail to meet State Accountability in any areas?
- What content area and with which groups of students do you need to improve?
- What other information does your MSA/HSA or other data you collect provide?
- What are the most compelling needs of your school as indicated by the data?
The state assessment data for your school is the critical data to determine whether you've met your state accountability target. Strengths and weaknesses in performance by the whole school, subgroups, or individuals begin to emerge with careful study of your data. Analyzing your data is a process in which you will want to involve your entire staff. There are a number of variables that will help you determine the best strategy for engaging all staff at your school including the size of staff, organization of teams, availability of computers with Internet, and the amount of staff meeting time. The critical piece is that you model the importance of data analysis and involve all staff in the process. The odds of teachers making the instructional changes needed for improved student achievement are much greater when they are involved in analyzing the data.
Some typical questions to address in your data analysis process include the following:
- Did we meet our state accountability target?
- How close or far away were we from the state accountability target?
- At what proficiency levels are our students performing?
- Are their disparities among subgroups?
- Are we making progress?
- How did our performance compare to our district, state or similar schools?
- How are we performing on individual standards?
- What questions do the data raise for us?
Since the state assessment data for your school is graphed and a process modeled in the Data Analysis section of this site, that would be a good starting point for school's analyzing their data. The Data Analysis worksheet could be used by school teams for their analysis. In addition to asking teams to make observations about their data, the worksheet asks teams to identify questions that their data raise for them. When the team finishes this analysis, members should be able to identify the strong and weak areas in performance measured by the state assessments and any gaps between state standards and school performance.
Once the data has been studied and gaps identified, the school will need to identify the most urgent and compelling needs. Some schools may find they have instructional challenges in many areas whereas other schools may be moving student achievement toward the advanced level. Though a good instructional program will address all of the appropriate content standards, a good school improvement plan will focus a school-wide effort on one or two priority instructional needs. As Peter Senge says, "More than two goals is the same as none at all."
Leading your School