School Data Rooms Bring Data Out of the Drawers and Into the Open

School administrators are adept at collecting data, but too often, they end up storing it, literally. The need for accountability and assessment is forcing schools to take data out of the drawers and onto the table. Some are taking this a step further by establishing school data rooms, where teachers are able to see student information in an organized and accessible manner.

At Gilliard Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, color-coded sticky notes cover the walls of a room called “the data room.” The notes show teachers where their students stand in relation to math and reading standards as well as their discipline and attendance records.

The goal is to assist teachers recognize and address students’ needs before they get out of hand. For instance, if the student isn’t meeting the reading goals of his or her The teacher could offer additional practice in class or work with that student outside of school. If a student has problems with their behavior, the teacher might recommend counseling, or even consider removing that child from class.

Baker’s method is to have teachers acknowledge their students’ accomplishments by putting data at the forefront. In the spring of last year an unemployed student proudly proclaimed that he had achieved his goal in reading.

Before you commit to a data room for your school be sure to protect student privacy and follow FERPA guidelines. This is especially important for displays of classroom data, in which sensitive information such as counseling sessions or disciplinary actions may be accidentally exposed.


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