Posted on: May 18, 2001 at 3:42 PM
First, all districts have the discretion to use money for data analysis any way they wish. Second, and of greatest importance....what should they analyze. Data should be analyzed from multiple perspectives...demographics, teachers, the relationship between teacher professional development, curriculum and student outcomes. The superintendent should also examine the goals and content of professional development provided during this extended period of time. We need to focus on a few things and learn to do them well. The data is not just a single year snapshot, but an album of snapshots which are collected, reviewed and trends established over time. As superintendents, we must recognize that change is a process and not an event. That we need to go provide the time for change to take place, but need student achievement data to help drive our decisions.
All too often we make non analytical decisions about program effectiveness. I know that Mark feels that LSCs and other NSF programs should be evaluated as to how well they build the capacity of districts to implement, maintain and improve their science and math programs. I differ with him that student achievement is missing from his evaluation criteria. We have too many "feel good programs" out there. What is the criteria to judge or evaluate the effectiveness of improvement?