"K-12 school leaders in the US are seeking evidence-based and innovative solutions to improve student performance," says Beth Wray, the newly appointed CEO of Pearson Achievement Solutions. "Pearson Achievement Solutions…has a critical role in improving current student outcomes through systemic school change, customized content, and professional development."
Hmm. Sounds interesting - however, because of the focus on standardised testing in the US, how does this translate into practice? I am wondering who actually uses these services, and how do they fund them? When do they decide to use a service like this? Are most users being proactive or reactive to their situation? And how do you make a case for collecting and using data more actively in the school setting?I can't answer these questions, I pose them more as food for thought.I certainly agree with the use of research to inform practice, but I am wondering to what degree school boards and schools themselves rely on research to inform their practice. In terms of the increasingly varied demands placed on administration at the school level, it would make sense to rely on results that are readily available. Test scores can be tracked over the years, compared to other schools within the district or country, but these standardised scores don't tell the whole story about why or how a school is succeeding -- or not. This provides the opportunity for companies like Pearson to branch out into professional development and data management.
It can be difficult when seeking to change how things are done to make a case for why things should be changed. The Co-nect site had some interesting case studies that could be used with school teams or administrators to make a case for using data in schools. The case studies are offered for a number of different areas. Though they target a specific service, they can still be used as a model for how data can play a part in the typical school, and how teachers and administrators can re-think how they approach data.How does your school or school board respond to data? I would be interested to hear what is going on in the school setting.