Metro Nashville Public Schools Student Assessment Staff Development Model
Executive Summary In the current K-12 educational landscape, data-driven decision-making (DDDM) is believed to hold great potential for improving the quality of classroom instruction. This analysis of the capacity of principals and teachers in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) for DDDM was initiated by a district belief that DDDM among educators is unsatisfactory. An evaluation of this perceived problem reveals a generally positive picture of DDDM capacity reported by district educators. However, closer analyses reveal evidences that principals and teachers may be less fluent in DDDM than they report. Key findings include: - In contrast to district officials' concerns about principals' and teachers' variable knowledge of DDDM, most principals and teachers report feeling adept at DDDM. - Teachers and principals have similar perceptions of DDDM norms among schools' teaching staffs, both believing that teachers practice DDDM frequently. - There is a disconnect between principals' expectations that teachers use data to inform instruction and their leadership role as one that guides teachers' ability to interpret data. - Despite the inconsistency of formal training experiences focused on DDDM, most teachers believe that they have adequate support from their principals for DDDM. - MNPS provides a number of resources - including frequent meetings, data reporting, and technological software - related to DDDM; however, most emphasize data interpretation over data application. - In addition to concerns about untimely data, principals and teachers - as well as district officials themselves - agree that the district has an underdeveloped and insufficient process for learning about educators' needs for DDDM. These findings point to several key areas for improvement leading to a set of recommendations for improving district training in DDDM, along with plans for effective, data-based evaluations of these suggested action steps. Key recommendations include: - Invest in teacher leadership. - Establish expectations of participation in current leadership development opportunities. - Create a district-wide induction program for principals and teachers. - Increase principal time to focus on leadership for learning. - Access funding resources for high quality leadership development.