Data Driven Decision-Making in Midwest Charter Schools: Teachers’ Experiences in the Classroom
Metadata[+] Show full item record
Education has evolved into a system that emphasizes data use. Data are used to discriminate between successful and failing districts, schools, teachers and students. Data are used to gain insights to student demographics. In some cases, teachers use data to evaluate instructional practices and student progress. In many districts in America, a data specialist is even hired to gather, disaggregate and interpret data for the entire district or specific schools. Due to funding, many charter schools often do not have the luxury of hiring a person who is solely responsible for collecting and interpreting data. The lack of knowledge and training on student data driven decision-making may hinder charter teachers from making instructional decisions throughout the school year within their own classrooms. The literature outlines the cause of the absence of data driven decision-making among most teachers is due to the lack of knowledge and training. Teachers in charters schools do not have the organizational supports as compared to their traditional public school teacher counterparts. The purpose of this study was to provide an overall story of the experiences of teachers in charter schools under the guidance of one sponsor in the Midwest. This heuristic case study, with the help of narrative inquiry, describes the experiences of teachers concerning data driven decision-making in a Midwest charter school network. One primary research question led this study and included four sub-questions. The research questions were as follows: 1. How do data inform the decisions teachers in charter schools charter schools make in the classroom? A. How do teachers define data driven decision-making? B. How do teachers describe its use in the classroom? C. What kind of data do teachers include when making data driven decisions? D. What types of support are received from others about the process of data driven decision-making? All five participants taught state-tested subjects in the middle school grades at two Midwest charter schools in the same area. While both schools were under the sponsorship of the same university, they yielded very different achievement scores on the yearly state assessments. The participants were interviewed, observed, and recorded their thoughts in journals. An official document used at both schools was also used as a source of data for this study. Understanding data, collaboration and communication were the themes present after analyzing all data sources. The importance of each teacher’s story and issues surrounding the power of teaching also surfaced based on the stories of the participants. The voices of these teachers have to ability to encourage future professional development opportunities in data based decision-making for the entire charter school network.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Literature review -- Methodology -- Findings -- Conclusion and recommendations -- Appendix A. Consent document -- Appendix B. participant recruitment letters -- Appendix C. Midwest charter school survey -- Appendix D. Data sources -- Appendix E. Journal prompts and interview questions -- Appendix F. Observation guide -- Appendix G. Methods for data collection