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Showing posts from October, 2016

Sensitive Data Tools for Informed Decision-Making

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Sensitive data comes from assessments that give reliable feedback to educators about student growth. Previously, I promised to give a list of tools that can be used to shift from lethargic data to sensitive data. Here are sensitive data sources for elementary and middle-level schools that can improve your ability to make confident instructional leadership decisions.

Read about the difference in Lethargic Data and Sensitive Data Here.

Reading Cloze for Overall Reading Growth This tool is old. It's been researched and used for decades. It is easy to create, quick to use, and gives solid data on student growth.

The cloze works because it takes students into the reading process and requires them to make connections within a text to infer words that are missing from the text. It focuses on both students' ability to negotiate print and construct meaning.

And this research review shows how Spelling is a Predictor of Reading Comprehensionall the way up to 10th grade.
Academic Vocabula…

How are you motivating your campus this week?

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There's a difference between motivation and a positive organizational climate. We could discuss scores of studies on these topics in the last four years. Instead of reviewing those, let's discuss how you will motivate your campus this week. As a school leader, you can be strategic about motivation and climate.

Motivation is the drive for excellence. It is the motive, the why. Why do you try? Why do you go the extra mile? It's different for different people. It varies at different times.

Organizational climate comes in several forms at a school: student climate, instructional climate, and work climate. Together, they make "the" climate. Why does this matter?

It matters because the climate can either increase motivation or it can suppress it. Your actions, or lack of actions, can set the tone of the workplace. That tone (read, climate) is the context for the amount of motivated work that takes place.

Enough theory. Let's look at some strategic ways to increase…

Sensitive Data and Lethargic Data

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Here's a concept - sensitive data. Sensitive data are the numerical outputs that fluctuate easily. They are different than lethargic data, which does not move easily. That may not sound very good. It may sound technical and strange, so let's look at some examples.

The first quarter is over. What do we look for to determine results? Do you look for the percent of students who scored above a 70 on a single test? This is lethargic data. It doesn't tell you what you really need to know.

Lethargic Data A passing rate (the percentage of students who scored above a 70) is lethargic because it doesn't show growth well. It doesn't respond quickly to changes in student performance. It isn't all that reliable.

I'd really love to go into the research statistics, but then you'd probably stop reading. So let's just talk the logic.

Lethargic Data in Action Imagine 30% of your students are slightly below level and you give an on-level test at the end of the quarte…

Leaders Should Not Stand Out

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You should not stand out as a leader.
You should not think of new ideas.
You should not innovate.
You should not be creative.
You should seek to fit in and be normal.
Follow rules and be safe. Here are three reasons why.
Innovative Leadership Involves RiskStanding out and being creative is how we find solutions. Innovation means you have to try out new ideas. It means you have to find solutions. Trying out new ideas is risky.
Many educational leaders maintain the status quo. Policy makers maintain status quo. You should definitely do the same. It is safer that way.
If you are a school leader concerned only about keeping your job, then just be normal. Average is good enough. Average is safe. (And outliers are risky.)
Don't learn. Don't grow. Don't risk making a mistake. Just follow everyone else and you'll be safe. Leaders with Vision Have to Work Hard You might just want to come to the office and: read emailscomplete paperworktalk on the phoneturn in reports. If that i…