The information that school administrators gather is fantastic however, they often end up keeping them in storage, literally. The need for accountability and assessment is forcing schools to bring data out of drawers and out into the open. Some are taking this one step further with school data rooms, where teachers are able to see student information in a well-organized and easy manner.
At Gilliard Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, color-coded sticky notes cover the walls of a space known as “the data room.” The notes tell teachers where their students stand on the math and reading standards and also record their attendance and discipline records.
The goal is to aid teachers in identifying and addressing students’ needs, before they become uncontrollable. If a child isn’t reaching his or her reading goals the teacher may offer extra practice or help them outside of school. If a child has a problem with their behavior, the teacher might refer them to counseling or even consider taking that child from the class.
Furthermore, by placing the data front and center teachers can also share their achievements with their students – a crucial part of Baker’s approach. In the spring of 2011 one of the students who was homeless proudly proclaimed that he had reached his reading goal.
Be sure to adhere to FERPA guidelines and safeguard your students’ privacy before making the switch to a data room. This is particularly true when it comes to classroom data displays where sensitive information like counseling sessions and disciplinary decisions can be revealed accidentally.