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Five Steps for Structuring Data-Informed Conversations and Action in Education

by Myriam Baker and Wendy Kekahio

Using data strategically to guide decisions and actions can have a positive effect on education practices and processes. This facilitation guide shows education data teams how to move beyond simply reporting data to applying data to direct strategic action. Using guiding questions, suggested activities, and activity forms, this guide provides education data teams with a framework and the tools and vocabulary needed to support an informed conversation around the data they generate or acquire. The guide walks data teams through five key steps in using data for informed decision making and strategic action: setting the stage, examining the data, understanding the findings, developing an action plan, and monitoring progress and measuring success. This guide provides grade-, school-, and state-level education data teams--composed of teachers, administrators, staff, and other stakeholders--with steps, sample questions, and resources for using data more systematically and rigorously in education decision making. Data teams can print out the templates in this guide and use them to direct their own data-informed conversations. (Contains 2 boxes, 2 tables, 1 figure, and 6 templates.) [This report was prepared for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) by Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific administered by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.]

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