Data-Driven Decision Making, article published by E-Lead Organization in its website, provided basic facts about Data-Driven Decision Making or D3M. According to the article, the unsatisfactory performance of students in their education prompted pressure on the part of school administrators and teachers. This was further strengthened by President Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy, which is why when D3M came, schools utilized the tool to answer the pressures from the government and from parents.
D3M has emerged in the last 10-15 years and has gained popularity because of the favorable results in the country, even in the most struggling school districts. D3M was the answer whenever parents and political leaders demanded for information and statistics about their school’s and students’ performance. Proponents of D3M held that it is the principal’s and the teacher’s duty to find the best way for students to learn, that is why when students fail, it is their responsibility to solve this problem.
The ultimate goal of D3M, according to the article, is to have ample information at hand to know the problem areas and the best solution for these. D3M’s process involves monitoring of students by the teacher, collaboration between teacher and student, informing parents, and monitoring of teacher by principal. D3M is a school-wide team effort. As such, some surprises can pop up like uncovering startling facts that have previously been unknown, unwillingness of everyone to collect, analyze, and use all data, and the multitude of data that might be unorganized and incorrectly analyzed and interpreted.
Summary of Data-Driven School Improvement James H. Johnson, in his article, Data-Driven School Improvement, published in the Journal of School Improvement in 2000, answered some of the problems faced by D3M, by explaining how data can be used to effectively improve education. Traditionally, data gathered from schools have been used to assess students’ performance. But now that power is decentralized in school districts, data can help educators make better choices for the students and for the community’s benefits.
Evaluation measures mainly focus on “reading, writing, and math,” but rarely focus on “management skills, learning styles, or other factors” that may affect students. A lot of testing has been done but no concerted effort to interpret the data. School districts have already gathered much data, such as “statistics on attendance, grades, referrals, retentions, and standardized test results” and so the challenge now is to analyze these and use them effectively to improve education.
Still, other data can also be useful if collected, such as “survey results, interviews, numbers of books read, and other information on student achievement. ” The whole idea of data-driven school improvement is to enable educators to gather accurate information on students’ performance and then make necessary adjustments on their teaching styles or curriculum to improve education. One way to reach this goal is by allowing teachers to be involved in the researching process.
Teachers’ researches will be small-scale studies, as they discover only those that will work in their specific classrooms. The positive side of this is that they are able to observe very closely what happens in the classroom. But then again, since they have close ties with their objects of study, they tend to be less objective than what is expected of an academic large-scale researcher. Still, collecting data will help educators know if interdisciplinary teaching is effective for both remedial students and high achievers.
Data serves two purposes: to judge students’ performance and take necessary action against underachievers and to diagnose problems and determine efficacious solutions. However, continuous improvement is needed since data collection, analysis, and use are a collective effort and as such, the involvement of a wide range of individuals is most helpful. Personal Position on the Two Articles Based on the arguments of the two articles, I believe that data is required for decision-making because it has provided improved results on students’ and schools’ performances in general.
The efforts of school administrators and teachers are highly appreciated but I do not agree with D3M’s proponents’ contention that administrators and teachers are the only ones responsible if students fail. There are always two sides to every coin – in this case, the teachers and principal on one, and the students on the other. We have to take into consideration that students have different levels of intellectual development and have diverse learning patterns.
While it’s true that it is the educators’ task to improve students’ skills and intelligence, the students should also try their best not just to pass but to excel in their classes because their education is not for anybody else but themselves. It is also true that numbers and statistics do not lie but it is not only the educators’ role to motivate students. Everyone – the community, political leaders, volunteers, and students themselves, has a role to play if they want education to be highly satisfactory.
This was what the articles pointed out as collaborative and concerted effort. Moreover, I agree with both articles in saying that there has been too much data collected and very few analyzed correctly and used wisely. This is why school administrators should precisely and effectively sift through all of the data. Those that can only be of practical use to them should be the ones utilized since D3M does not have standard rules or ways applicable to every school. D3M is more of a school-per-school effort, aimed at improving education.