A.School Improvement Cycle
B.Leadership Teams
C.Formulating Questions
Assignments and Evaluation Checklist



  1. List advantages of data-driven decision making in education.
  2. Identify the four major activities in the School Improvement Cycle.
  3. List potential members of a leadership team.
  4. Formulate questions that can be addressed through data.


Ms. Rojas is a 4th grade teacher at ABC Elementary.  Ten of her students were not up to grade level on the practice tests for statewide reading that she was conducting in her class. It seemed that no matter how much they practiced and drilled, they could not reach the required score. As Ms. Rojas was leaving school one day, her colleague, Ms. Blanco gave her a recommendation -- "Look at the data!"

A week later, Ms. Rojas came to a startling conclusion.  She found that  six of the students had performed above average on a 30 minute national reading test, yet they continued to score below average on the 2 hour practice exam for the state test. She also learned that five of those students walked to school and seldom had breakfast. In addition, the statewide tests were generally conducted about 10 AM -- just before lunch. "Wow," she thought, "maybe there is some merit in examining the data and looking for the root of the issues!"

As Ms. Rojas discovered, information about the students, the community, and the school can be combined to help address the current and future needs of the students.  In most cases, the information already exists -- it's simply a matter of collecting, compiling, and interpreting it.  This does not mean that teachers need to be statisticians.  On the contrary, this course is designed to illustrate methods for collecting and analyzing data that do not require complex mathematics.