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


C. Formulating Questions

Read Improving Teaching and Learning with Data-Based Decisions: Asking the Right Questions and Acting on the Answers by Nancy Protheroe.

Collecting and analyzing data should not be a willy-nilly fishing expedition. Instead, you need to formulate specific questions and goals to guide your evaluation.  As outlined in Protheroe's article, the following questions might be important to teachers (Protheroe, p. 3):

  • Are my teaching strategies working?
  • What do these students need help with?
  • What do students understand and what can they apply?

Additional issues high on educators' list of questions, might focus on ways to improve school safety, the impact of class size, dropout rates, attendance patterns, discipline issues, homework effectiveness, and student motivation.  Only by formulating clear questions, will you be able to collect the pertinent data.



Take a moment to think about questions that are pertinent to your school, district, or classroom. Then download and fill out at least 5 rows on the Formulate Question template.  Here is an example:

What do you want to know? How critical is the issue? (1=low; 5=high) What data sources might be useful in answering the question? What team members may have valuable input?
Why do some students consistently score above average on the Stanine, yet below average on FCAT Reading? 5 - Students must score at least Level 3 to be promoted. FCAT scores
Stanine scores
Health records
Student motivation
Home environment
Reading specialist
School nurse
Previous teachers