School Data Walls

One of my goals this year has been to have each school data team create their own data walls.  There was much hesitation at first…who would see this, where should it be displayed, what information should we show?  Coming up with answers to these questions as a group was an important first step in the process.   Each school agreed they would like to display data in ‘staff only’ areas of the school; typically this meant staff prep areas.  As for what type of data to display, that depended on each school and what information would be of greatest interest to staff.  To get the ideas flowing we took a look at a great presentation from Boston Plan for Excellence on Making Data Public.

Some schools opted to display information from state level MCAS testing, others chose to focus on district common assessments such as our math benchmarks while some schools opted to feature AIMS Web data from students’ literacy testing.  In addition to selecting the sources of our data, we had to determine what format we would use to display the information and how much information to share without overwhelming people.  The school data teams did a fantastic job at coming up with what would work best in their buildings.  Many supplemented their data displays with brief explanations to help staff interpret the information.  Some schools even shared complimentary teaching strategies, for example, if the AIMS Web data indicated many students were struggling with decoding skills, there was a section of the data wall with intervention strategies to address this area.  Take a look at a display from our Middle School:  ”A Closer Look at Open Response Writing” which examined student performance on both Math and ELA open response questions over the past 4 years.  ELA teachers at the Middle School were surveyed and asked to provide their “Top Tips” to share with staff so that we can all be aware of strategies to help improve student success in this area.

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