Data, Progress, and Leadership

This week’s 822chat asked how to monitor student progress in areas other than reading and math. We also took it one step further by discussing how student progress data reflects leadership effectiveness.

Leadership Effectiveness

How can school leaders use student progress data to measure their own success as a school leader?

This discussion was rich!

Data must be from quality sources. And it’s only as good as the analysis behind it.

“Data is only as good as analysis and application. Indicators that point to good leadership are – 1) progress that aligns with established vision/goals and 2) the result of student-centered, informed decisions.” – Andrea D. Chavez-Kopp

Making Meaning with Data

It’s not enough to look at or discuss data. As Principal Tribe writer Jared Francis points out in Using Data to Make Meaning:

  • What meaning is tucked away in your school’s data?
  • How do you pull that meaning out?
  • Most importantly, what narratives do you tell by using data to make meaning?

“What if we had all students create their goals for the year and then display them? Then, as the year goes on, we progress monitor and check in with them to see what they need in the way of support to achieve those goals? What if we did that for teachers and administrators too?” – Cristobal Saldana

Data displays.

Imagine that. Growth charts hanging in the halls (an idea shared in this podcast) celebrating and making student learning visible!

Action, Effort, and Effectiveness

Again, student progress can informs us about our effort. Are we doing enough?

Are we effective? Not just busy. But effective.

“The big question that always comes to mind is, “Are we doing enough for our kids?” The data helps us answer this clearly. ” – Mrs. Higgins

Priority Areas for Monitoring

Other than the standard reading and math, what are some priority areas to monitor student progress?

Some of the top answers involved:

  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Post-Secondary Success

Social and Emotion Progress Monitoring

Can there be any learning without first addressing the social and emotional deficits?

“Social/Emotional learning is a big part of what we do in early learning. We monitor progress through our RTI but sometimes it can be hard to quantify.” – Sheila Jurke

Cognition has been talked about, mandated, and tested.

Some say that’s the cart before the horse.

“Social-emotional health should be baselined and progress monitored. Our PLCs often cover reading and writing, but most of the time those deficits aren’t as a result of Blooms. They’re a lack of Maslow.” – Erika Garcia

Sometimes “we” (or our legislative mandates) default to the easy to assess areas like math and reading.

Isn’t there so much more to education?

Real-Life Results

There’s something about it…the fact that we have to clarify “real-life” vs. school-life.

Can we monitor progress toward the “real-life” results?

“Applying skills and knowledge instead of regurgitating information, like solving real-world problems through Challenge Based Learning.” – Mrs. Higgins

“On the very number crunching side … on-time graduation, credit data to ensure the most flex and choice at high school levels, post-secondary and apprenticeship applications, behavior incidents by month and aligned with pressure points like reporting periods.” – Aubrey Patterson

What do you think? How can we expand our perspectives on monitoring student progress? How can we apply this concept to monitoring effective leadership?

Join us on Tuesdays or Saturdays for a quick and engaging connection and discussion.


Are you innovative? Are you bold?

Let’s create together.

822Chat, Brought to you by Principal Tribe
Data, Progress, and Leadership

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