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Education Leaders Conference - Rprt ELC printed version withcvr.pdf Executive Summary CCSSO hosted a unique conference for state and district leaders in St. Louis, MO, September 12–14,

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  • E d u c a t i o n L e a d e r s C o n f e r e n c eE d u c a t i o n L e a d e r s C o n f e r e n c e

    S E P T E M B E R 1 2 - 1 4 , 2 0 0 7 H I L T O N S T . L O U I S A T T H E B A L L P A R K  S T . L O U I S , M O

    S P O N S O R E D B Y S U R V E Y S O F E N A C T E D C U R R I C U L U M

    S T A T E C O L L A B O R A T I V E

    Using Data to Improve Instruction:

    Building on Models that Work

    Using Data to Improve Instruction:

    Building on Models that Work

    Summary ReportSummary ReportSummary ReportSummary Report

  • Using Data to Improve Instruction: Building on Models that Work

    CCSSO Education Leaders Conference September 12-14, 2007

    St. Louis, Missouri

    Summary Report

    Rolf K. Blank

    Director of Education Indicators

  • Page 2

    Using Data to Improve Instruction: Building on Models that Work

    Executive Summary

    CCSSO hosted a unique conference for state and district leaders in St. Louis, MO, September 12–14, focused on models for using data to improve instruction. A total of 190 leaders from 30 states across the country participated in the event. CCSSO planned the conference with the primary goal of assisting leaders in moving beyond collection and reporting of data, toward greater focus on identifying effective strategies and tools for using data to improve instruction and to provide training on how to implement database approaches to improvement in schools. Several highlights of the conference were

    • An opening panel featuring Chiefs Gerald Zahorchak (PA) and Susan Castillo (OR), and deputies from Minnesota and Rhode Island focused on how state policies can be formulated to merge education improvement initiatives with leadership by states on improved use of data within schools, and how integrated data systems can be designed to meet educator needs.

    • Keynote speakers for the conference were Dr. Mike Schmoker, nationally-known author and consultant on organizing schools to use data in instructional improvement, and Dr. Margaret Heritage, UCLA/CRESST expert on teachers’ use of formative assessment data in classrooms.

    • In breakout sessions, 33 state and local leader teams shared their experience and evidence from use of data-based strategies and tools for raising the quality of instruction

    • Chief Douglas Christensen (NE) led a panel of Nebraska educators in discussing results from a statewide approach for using data for purposes of accountability as well as school-based decisions for increasing effectiveness of instruction.

    For our second annual Leader Training Conference on Using Data to Improve Instruction, CCSSO was very pleased with the high quality of sessions and presentations focusing on effective strategies and models for using data. Evaluation feedback from participants following the conference was very positive. The conference was hosted and organized by the CCSSO Surveys of Enacted Curriculum state collaborative project. To review the conference sessions and materials, go to the CCSSO webpage http://www.ccsso.org/projects/Surveys%5Fof%5FEnacted%5FCurriculum/SEC%5FMeetings/. Rationale for Conference

    As states and school districts increase their capacity to collect, manage, and report a variety of data, educators are seeking to use the data to inform decisions about how to increase student achievement and improve instruction in classrooms. CCSSO is seeking ways to provide leadership with states to share their models and experiences for using data across states. The St. Louis conference focused on Using Data to Improve Instruction is an important step for moving state leadership beyond design, collection, and reporting of data to greater leadership on uses of data to focus efforts of educators. The Conference had three primary objectives:

    • Present and discuss strategies, designs, and tools for using data to improve instruction that are currently being applied with schools across the states

    • Analyze findings and evidence about the effectiveness of the variety of models and tools, and discuss their application as models for professional development in other locations

    • Provide leadership training on how to implement and use data-based approaches to instructional improvement.

  • Page 3

    This conference series was conceived in 2006 based on the recent experience of state leaders and consultants who are members of the Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) Collaborative. The Collaborative was moving into more focused use of the SEC data for providing professional development leadership with district and school staff on how to combine instructional practices and content data with achievement data to focus improved student learning. The group recognized the need for leader training on the uses of data for improving instruction. Our state members wanted to gain skills in identifying needs of students and teachers from analyses of achievement data as well as instructional data, and then be able to use the data analyses to focus on change in instructional strategies, priorities on curriculum topics and expectations for learning. At the same time, we recognized that many states, districts, and professional development providers have been working on other specific approaches to using data to drive instructional improvement strategies. The Collaborative suggested to CCSSO that a conference that included presentations and discussions on a range of current models and strategies for data-driven instructional improvement would be very attractive to state leaders and many local districts. Such a conference, would provide an excellent way to help states review the available models, to consider research and evaluation evidence about effectiveness, and identify ways to link state data systems development to instructional improvement needs. The 2007 Using Data Conference in St. Louis was planned to build on and incorporate several programs and initiatives with state leaders that are currently operating at CCSSO:

    • The Secondary School Redesign project funded by U.S. Department of Education has been working with state leaders over the past year to share the experiences and progress that states have made through federal grants for secondary school redesign. The Using Data Conference was scheduled to be held in the same hotel immediately after the fall meeting of this project.

    • The Using Data Conference was planned by CCSSO and its planning committee as a complementary event in relation to the CCSSO National Conference on Large Scale Assessment (held in June each year) – which focuses on issues, progress, and research on development and implementation of student assessment programs.

    • The Council has been part of the Consortium for School Improvement for several years and provides a monthly newsletter aimed toward state leaders involved with School Improvement Initiatives to share information, research, and state models for assisting low- performing schools.

    • The Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) State Collaborative has been working with state education leaders since 1998 to develop, test, and implement a survey instrument that provides comparable, objective data on the curriculum taught in classrooms and the degree of alignment between state standards, assessments, and current instruction.

    Conference Highlights

    CCSSO issued a call for proposals in spring 2007 inviting sessions to be planned and submitted for the Using Data Conference. Proposals submitted from across the U.S. were reviewed by a planning committee comprised of state leaders, expert consultants, and CCSSO staff, and a total of 33 sessions were selected to comprise the majority of the conference agenda. The sessions were planned for 75 to 90 minutes. Each session provided participants with details about a model or strategy for use of data in improving instruction and evidence about the degree of effectiveness of the model/strategy with schools and teachers. Additionally, the planning committee recommended invited speakers and panels that would be featured in plenary sessions and highlight central issues regarding how data-driven improvement initiatives can be moved forward. Registration was opened to education leaders from state and local levels as well as providers of professional development, vendors, and researchers. In total, 190 persons registered for the 2007 Conference. Major themes, issues, and results presented in the plenary sessions and the focused breakout sessions can be highlighted.

  • Page 4

    State Policies for Improvement Initiatives and Use of Data. In the Conference opening plenary session, two chief state school officers and two deputy chiefs described systematic, state-level efforts to incorporate training and leadership with use of data as part of broad state efforts to raise the performance of schools and districts. The efforts of Pennsylvania, Oregon, Minnesota, and Rhode Island were featured in the session, and each provided an example of how state-level leadership can integrate policy initiatives for advancing curriculum and instruction and school-based uses of data.

    Presentation by Mike Schmoker, consultant on school improvement and Instruction.

    Citing a range of research and practical experience, Schmoker focused the attention of conference participants on what is known about effective actions and organizing principles within schools to set learning goals, focus on the what and how of instruction that works, involve staff in learni

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