Archive for August 6th, 2012

August 6, 2012

‘Inside School Research’ with Using Data

Using Data*’s latest evaluation project with CNA* was featured in a July 12th blog on teacher data use for EdWeek’s Inside School Research. Reporter Sarah Sparks introduced data use programming as a “blossoming” area for federal School Improvement Fund and state improvement fund allocations—and dually, an area with little research backing the effectiveness of data-use training. But as a counterexample—Sparks cited Using Data’s current quantitative evaluation project with CNA, which is analyzing the PD program’s  impact on teaching practice, student achievement, and potentially—educational policy.

The Using Data professional development team has excellent qualitative evidence (in the form of numerous case studies) that the program improves facets of the secondary experience—ranging from teachers’ data literacy skills to student engagement to creating cohesive school communities. But now, as a subcontractor on CNA’s evaluation—they will have a record of Using Data’s quantitative impact in 30 southern U.S. schools.

Over the course of 4 years, CNA is conducting rigorous statistical analyses of student achievement and teacher practice across treatment and control groups in these 30 schools—situated in a large, diverse, urban district with high poverty and varied success on standards-based tests for mathematics. CNA researchers are examining the beginning and end scores of elementary students on the mathematics portion of the state assessment and testing participating teachers’ data literacy skills and attitudes. Also, the researchers will determine the extent to which teachers trained in the Using Data process were able to address students’ learning problems identified in their data and improve students’ understanding of mathematics concepts.

*About Using Data
Using Data is a professional development program for educators and administrators. Through a series of workshops, Using Data guides participants in working collaboratively and analytically with data in order to identify root causes, implementing research-based solutions, taking action, and monitoring the changes made in their schools and communities. Using Data’s programming has been used for over a decade in a diverse range of schools and districts: large and small urban, rural, and suburban settings, with demographics including English Language learners, special education students, and diverse student and high poverty populations. For more information, please visit:
 *About CNA Corporation
The CNA Corporation is  a Washington, D.C. area operations research and analysis organization. For over 70 years, CNA has conducted research to inform the work of public policy and government decision-makers, and its work—which in its early decades focused solely on defense-related matters—has grown to include investigation and analysis of a broad range of public-interest issues including education, health care and public health, homeland security, and air traffic management. For more information, please visit: