Edtech 597: Response to article – Data Driven Schools


(image taken from: themotleymonk.blogspot.com)


Why we need to be data informed, not data driven.

My favorite line from this article is that “schools can tend to focus on its institutional self-interest instead of what’s best for the students.” If a school is data driven, often times what is in the best interest of a student is overlooked. In schools that use test scores as a piece of information makes better judgments about teaching and learning.  I have witnessed this at my own school. I hate to say it, but we are data driven. Teachers are pressured into increasing scores on standardized tests. Teachers look at the content descriptors for the state test and feverously teach those items. Creativity is a thing of the past. I do not blame this on the administrators. They are merely following the rules set upon them by the government. If your test scores are bad….bad things will happen to you. I have been teaching for 20 years. There was a time when we were not pressured by state testing. We were able to teach using thematic teaching. The students were taught about the world around them. Students enjoyed school. Because of high stakes testing, we have been reduced to rote, item teaching. We would all love to be data informed….not driven. Right now, however, that does not seem to be an option.


4 thoughts on “Edtech 597: Response to article – Data Driven Schools

  1. I concur! I think that when schools focus too much on the numbers, they lose a sense of who the students are–school becomes an anonymous place where the only thing that matters is how well they score. In my mind, I have visions of a conveyor belt and an inspector. If the items on the belt meet the standards, pass…if not….eeek.

    I am thankful that I teach in a private school where testing is not as big of a factor as it is in the public sector. I do face the pressure to have students perform and make gains, but it is not the end-all-be-all of my job.

    • My wife and I love the freedom we have in our state as home school parents. We do not have to teach to a test and we are grateful for that. Our kids have a lot more control over their education because of this arrangement. I suppose its our version of a private school.

  2. Deb, I have been in and out of teaching for the last 20 years, too, and I see exactly what you are describing. It seems schools are totally losing focus on what is important. Not that test scores aren’t important, but they aren’t the END ALL, BE ALL. I almost feel like I am not allowed to be as creative as I once was because the the almighty test that is looming. Kind of depressing.

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