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August 31, 2011
Evaluators: Data use promotes student learning
SALEM — An independent evaluation of the Oregon Direct Access to Achievement (DATA) Project concludes that the project has had a positive impact on student achievement and that participating districts are meeting AYP at a higher rate than non-participating districts.
Third-party evaluators from the University of Arkansas recently completed a two-year study of the project, which provides an integrated approach to Oregon educators on effectively using data to improve student achievement. The professional development offered through Direct Access to Achievement helps districts establish data teams and leverage existing resources to effectively use data to tailor their instruction to better meet student needs.
The evaluators concluded that, after only two years of work, teachers have made “tremendous and swift” progress toward connecting data to teaching. “The change noted here is unmatched in the literature and may provide a model for helping teachers connect data to instructional practice,” the report says. Over the course of the project, students in Oregon DATA Project schools experienced greater gains in the percentage of those who met or exceeded standards in both reading and mathematics. These results were accomplished even though the math targets increased from 2010 to 2011.
“Such powerful outcomes for both students and teachers speak to the efficacy of this initiative’s design and potential,” evaluators concluded.
The effect of improved student achievement on accountability is illustrated by the recently released preliminary ratings for Oregon public schools meeting federal Adequate Yearly Progress. Twenty-nine of the 76 Oregon schools listed as Schools in Improvement in 2010 met AYP in 2011 in the subject which placed them in that category. Of those schools, 65% (19 schools) are participating in the Oregon DATA Project.
“The DATA Project took a two-prong approach,” explains Mickey Garrison, Oregon DATA Project training director and director of data literacy for Oregon Department of Education. “We provided administrators with new tools, but we also equipped teacher teams with the knowledge and skills they needed to have a direct impact on the classroom.”
Complete evaluation results are available on the Oregon DATA Project website, www.oregondataproject.org, (Research & Evaluation > Evaluation report). Copies may be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
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