Learning to Learn from Data: Using Data to Inform Instructional Decisions and Improve Student Learning in Low-Performing Urban Schools

RFA’s study on the use of interim assessment data focused on low-performing urban elementary and middle schools that are under significant pressure to improve student achievement and to use student data to accomplish that goal. The study took advantage of the local context of school reform in Philadelphia, where the state’s district takeover and implementation of a diverse provider model in 70 low-performing schools has introduced considerable variation in program intervention designs to guide and support teachers’ and administrators’ data use. The study contributed to the understanding of the transition to reflective use of data to inform instruction in low-performing urban schools. In addition, the research explored the policies and interventions that support educators in making these transitions. The study also identified the kinds of instructional decisions that result from deliberations about data and their effects on student achievement.