Saturday, February 19, 2011

Re-imagining Student Data

I watched the TEDMED talk from Thomas Goetz on Re-imagining medical data (located at the end of this post) and could not shake the thought that we have educational data all wrong.

This got me to thinking...

What do kids want to know?

So, I asked students three questions:

1.  What information do you want to know know your report card?
2.  What information do you want to know about yourself?
3.  If you could choose a career, what would you choose?

Then I asked them to design their own report card, I'm going to scan those in and will be located here.

Why did I ask the questions I asked?

Mr. Goetz speaks of how we have the capacity to change behavior with DATA.  That data needs to be:
1.  Personalized to fit the needs of each student
2.  Relevant to the students needs (connected to their lives)
3.  That a path of HOW they can make an impact on that data (connected to choices or directions)
4.  Action steps they can take to improve (developed with the student)


The Answers to the questions I asked are located here.
  • Students wanted PERSONALIZED information
  • Students want their information in color
  • Students want to know where they rank, how they are doing, and what steps that can take to improve themselves.
  • Students want informal data on what the teacher thinks about how they are doing.
  • Students want anecdotal comment based data.
  • Students overall have a desired career at 11 and could understand that the steps they are taking right now can impact that.

So what!?

Drastic changes in education won't happen from the top down, it’s going to be a bottom up movement.  Here’s how we start.  We start by informing our community and students and reevaluating the readability f the information we are communicating about student performance.  Putting information in readable, accessible, and meaniful ways that will ultimately cause a change in behavior.


  • Create a school where one teacher has the same students over a number of years and personalizes student data to fit the needs and desires of each family.
  • Each student will create their own path/goal/desired career to allow teachers to create meaningful action steps to improve student achievement.
  • Teachers (mentors in this design) meet with students and parents three times a year at their readiness.
  • Teach students to ask:
    • Can I have my results?
    • What do my results mean?
    • What are my options for improvement?
    • What's next?  WHat are my action steps?
  • Design student data to be engaging and communicate the information the parents and students WANT to know.
  • Keep track of effectiveness of response to intervention data to create effectiveness of intervention and success rate of intervention to inform action steps.


Question to leave you with:

What would be on your ONE PAGE summary of a student (or yourself)? (What is the most important data?)

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