Useful Research Links

Using Data to Inform Decisions on Professional Learning

Data, as defined by Learning Forward standards for professional learning:
“Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students use a variety of sources and types of student, educator, and system data to plan, assess, and evaluate professional learning”.
It is often said that education has evolved into an “age of accountability” through the former No Child Left Behind Act and current Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Education accountability is the responsibility of educators, students, and the school community. Accountability and responsibility are fostered through efficacy, ownership of one’s learning. Educators must be intentional as data is selected and analyzed to inform professional learning opportunities. Follow the link above to Learning Forward’s Professional Learning Plans: A Workbook for States, Districts, and Schools. You will find an easy to follow and reflective process for creating, implementing, and monitoring your professional learning plan. Learning Forward shares a seven step process that supports the development of short- and long-term Professional Learning Plans to include:
  1. Analysis of student learning needs
  2. Identification of community, district, school, department, and staff characteristics
  3. Development of improvement goals and specific student outcomes
  4. Identification of educator learning needs, goals, and objectives
  5. Research on specific professional learning programs, strategies, or interventions
  6. Planning for professional learning implementation and evaluation
  7. Implementing, evaluating, and sustaining the professional learning
You will find this process approach easy to employ for yourself and your staff. The process embraces the natural connection between professional learning and teacher evaluation through learning goals and student performance.
If you want to ensure your professional learning is relevant and supportive of your student learning needs, use this reflective process approach to focus your professional learning experiences and yield personal growth and student performance outcomes.
Click on the link above for access to the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders guide to “Using Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Learning”. You will find a comprehensive module that can be utilized with your district and/or school staff to explore practical approaches for using evidence and performance ratings gathered through educator evaluations to inform professional learning. Through collegial collaboration, you will:
  • Learn how teacher evaluation data are used in self-reflection and formative feedback
  • Practice using teacher evaluation data in planning for professional learning for individuals and the organization
  • Explore next steps for ensuring that school and district structures support a teacher evaluation system focused on professional growth
You will find this module helpful as you implement and monitor a performance based teacher evaluation system. The module is designed with re-delivery in mind; you are provided with a facilitator guide, an agenda, power point slides, and handouts. The collaborative activities are best explored with administrative colleagues as you consider how to support your teachers through reflective practice, relevant professional learning planning, and a learning culture.
Follow this link and learn how to use data to assess and inform school change. Educator and student efficacy are fostered through ownership of data. View video clips that capture principal and teacher perspectives as they implement student centered data journals, collaborate by sharing strategies, and intentionally plan professional learning directly tied to student needs. You will also find activities and discussion prompts that promote using data to assess and inform school change.
You will gain perspective of fellow principals by viewing the video clip “Ownership of Data” and see how they pinpoint their vision in a sea of data. Hear the words of teachers and students as they describe their ownership of data and their learning goals. Watch the video clip “Improve Teaching Methods” as principals and teachers share their strategies for connecting with students as they take ownership of their data and personal goals.
TAs you view “Improve Teaching Methods”, listen to how colleagues make connections with their students and promote ownership of goal setting and formative data analysis. Gain ideas that will promote efficacy in your school and/or team’s professional learning community by viewing the video clip “Professional Development”; utilize the activities and discussion prompts to engage in meaningful dialogue with your colleagues.