Understanding Data-Driven Decision Making in a School
1) What is data-based decision making?
Records of a student are collected and stored in a database. Records are then connected to other records of the same student so as to create a full picture of the student under screening, such as “detecting the effectiveness of the student’s response to intervention” (“What is Data-Based Decision Making?” n.d.). In other words, data-based decision making is the confirmation of a decision based upon the results obtained from queries (or detailed search) to retrieve needed records stored in a database. Take for example, when students’ performances are below par, a school leader or teacher might need to intervene to bring about improvement in their performance. Students’ responses to these measures or interventions are then collected and entered in a database. In order to determine the effectiveness of the interventions, the database is screened for students that are at risk of their needs not being met (“What is Data- Based Decision Making?” n.d.). In other words, data that is obtained from the screening process is used for decision making, such as to revise measures for improving on the positive response by students.
2) Why is data-based decision making important in a school?
When new or revised measures are implemented on students, new set of responses are created by them. These responses are then collected and connected to the same record-files of the students in the database. Thus, data-based-decision is important at school because “data can be used to make various decisions at different times throughout the RTI (Response To Intervention) processes (“Why is Data-Based Decision Making Important?” n.d.). Also, “data-driven decision making is integral to the life of the school’s mission and a key part of continuous reflection and self-improvement (“Data Driven Decision Making,” n.d.).
3) What are the roles of the school leader's and teachers for data-based decision making?
In a modern world where digital technologies supersede all conventional forms of recording creation and keeping, the maintenance of an efficient and up-to-date IT environment in a school is crucial in implementing data-based decision making. School leaders and teachers play an important role in data-based decision making.
a) Role of the school leaders
The role of the school leader or leadership team in data-based decision making “is to help maintain a respectful, trusting culture in which data can be collected, analyzed, and used constructively to increase student achievement” (“Data-Driven Decision Making,” n.d.).
b) Roles of school teachers
School teachers could assist the leaders in finding more effective ways to modify the system, such as improving the forms for data collection, develop more effective connection of pertinent records for individual students, create new screening programs, and other IT related issues via the help of IT specialists. Thus, “by going beyond simple data analysis to in-depth analysis, educators can determine the effects of their programs and practices and modify them to improve student performance” (“Data-Driven Decision Making,” n.d.). Teachers could also make use of the information in the database to better understand their students and thus play a pivotal role in helping their students achieving their needs.