Monday, February 9, 2015

Schools can learn from data

Let's face it: schools use data all the time. That's what grades are - grades on tests, quizzes, papers, finals. They all roll up into a final grade, and the grade tells the student - and a bunch of other people, including other teachers, parents, and admissions officers, whether a student is 'good' at something.

So why backtrack from the work that the Department of Education began under the Bloomberg administration? That's exactly what Chancellor Carmen Farina appears to be doing, according to yesterday's New York Times.

Notwithstanding Farina's statement "I know a good quality school when I'm in the building," schools should look at comprehensive data. They can learn from it. We may not yet have had all the conversations about what are the right data, and about how to interpret it, but ignoring it? Not a good way to improve schools.

For a more detailed view of Chancellor Farina's attitude toward data, see Robert Pondiscio's article "Because Carmen Farina Says So" in City Journal, here.

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