Data Conversation Forum

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Week 5 Data Discussion
by Emily Subers - Saturday, May 19, 2012, 8:46 PM

I brought standards based pre- and post-test data to the conversation.  It definitely showed student growth but that is to be expected from such measures.  What was helpful to me as a teacher was the obvious lack of prior knowledge of my students in a subject, Body Systems, that I thought they would have some familiarity with. Knowing their starting point allowed me to tailor instruction to them.

For my part, the fact that Schofield and I teach different disciplines and used such disparate assessments meant we could talk more about the nature of assessment and less about our specific students.  To me, the assessments are extremely useful if considered when deciding how to instruct students and markedly less so when evaluating teachers.  I can certainly show student growth, and I can relate that to State standards, but that is not the same as demonstrating student proficiency.  It seems a series of small assessments would be most useful in driving instruction, while large assessments would be more suited to measuring proficiency.  Neither is particularly suited to evaluating teachers, however.

As far as district or evaluative Data Conferences go, I found the two I had to be perfunctory and shallow.  There was little interest in both the data I had and how I would make use of it.  I think training in Data Conferencing for teachers and administrators would be helpful.