Organizing Data for Instructional Use in One Elementary School: An action research study
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The purpose of this action research study was to identify and improve organizational strategies for data use at East Omak Elementary in the Omak School District in Washington State. The study was conducted using Stinger's (2007) action research process of "look, think, act" from fall of 2013 to spring of 2014. Throughout the cyclical process of action research, grade level teams developed data organizational tools that could be used for analyzing and interpreting data. During the "look" phase, grade level teams administered assessments and collected data. The study transitioned to the "think" phase in late fall 2013 by analyzing how data could be organized in a manner that provided teachers structure for interpreting and analyzing data, and into the "act" phase in the winter of 2014. The "act" phase consisted of developing four organizational tools that grade level teams used for interpreting and analyzing student data. The major outcome of the study was the development of data organizational tools that grade level teams were able to use to analyze and interpret student academic growth. Conclusions of this study include beginning with the "end in mind," that is first determining how data will be used, that teachers often lack the capacity to interpret data and need support in developing this capacity, and proactive leadership practices and the action research process itself are useful mechanisms for supporting teacher data use.