2. After analyzing all data, what do you believe are the root causes of the problem you have identified? Comment on: organizational culture, external factors, organizational structure, student demographics, instruction and preparation, and curriculum.
The root causes are proving to be the most challenging to determine. From my slow progress of gathering specific data on each student through conversations with the teacher, classroom observations, looking through student cum files, and looking at math assessment scores my conclusion so far is that each of these students is struggling in math for different reasons- most having to do with family or health circumstances that prevented students from getting steady math support and instruction in years prior to sixth grade. I am not yet ready to report out for each student, as I am still looking through and sorting the data, but the family circumstances, family culture, and health issues, coupled with the fact that (in my opinion) the math curriculum hasn't been strong at our site (until the introduction of the Accellus program this January) seem to the major root causes. This means that the approaches, objectives and goals set for each student will be highly personalized. This is not in any way a bad thing, just more time consuming.
3. Based on an outcome you would like to attain for the target group, write 1 goal and 2-3 objectives that support that goal. (Create a SMART goal – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely.)
Goal: Sixth grade students will improve their STAR assessment math scores.
I have known that at my school site we need to develop a plan for looking at student data and making use of that valuable information that can assist us in teaching students and helping them develop. I am glad to have the opportunity to learn about utilizing data with the guidance of my professor and my PLC, as the main focus of this course: EDL 690. The picture to the left is my pile of data. It is proving to be challenging to glean significance across the various types of data, but I'm finding that the more I sit with it and keep coming back to it, more and more insight occurs, and that insight often leads me to gather another type of data or investigate reasons behind the data.
To get started, I put out a general announcement to the teachers at my site, asking if there were any groups of students they knew were struggling in any area, and if so, to let me know so that I might include them in my data analysis project. After a few conversations, it was decided I would look at data for the 6th graders at our site, as many of them are struggling academically. Below are the answers to the questions for our first check-in:
What type of student achievement data did you analyze?
I began with asking our registrar to run a few reports for me. She printed transcripts for all 6th graders, as well as any state testing data available for 6th graders as well. I also pulled assessment reports for each student from our online courseware program, Accellus, in which students work weekly in language arts and math.
What were the main findings generated from the analysis of your data?
My main findings are a bit murky in this first blush look at hard data. I am finding that grades reported to student transcripts for middle school do not often match the data on test scores. My guess is that, especially since parents, as homeschool "teachers" have input on their students' grades, suggest grades based on effort rather than grade level competency. I'm finding that our attendance data isn't all that helpful since ADA for homeschool is calculated, not by seat time, but by assignments turned in. I am going to have to get creative here as I look for more hard data that might provide insight. I think the data I have from assessments taken on Accellus might be the most helpful because it is very specific to topics studied, and shows level of competency.
Share 5 questions that the data sparked.
Which target group did you select to work with and why?
I chose a target group consisting of seven 6th graders to study, as they are performing well below grade level in math. Parents and teachers are concerned, and I'm hoping some data analysis might provide some insight that leads to ideas for remediation and intervention.