Make data a part of an ongoing cycle of instructional improvement
To help all students achieve, teachers need to systematically and routinely use data to guide instructional decisions and meet students’ learning needs. Data use is an ongoing cycle of collecting multiple data sources, interpreting data to formulate hypotheses about strategies to raise student achievement, and implementing instructional changes to test hypotheses. To continue the cycle of instructional improvement, teachers can restart the process by collecting and interpreting new student performance data and testing new hypotheses with modified instruction. Collaboration among teachers in each step of the data-based inquiry process can maximize the benefits of data use by helping teachers share effective practices, adopt collective expectations for students’ performance, gain a deeper understanding of students’ needs, and develop effective strategies to better serve students.