Thursday, August 14, 2014

My thoughts on Driven By Data (so far)

So part of my Summer work reading is Driven By Data by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo.  I didn't want to start reading it because that would mean that my Summer is coming to an end, but I started it this week and I am actually enjoying it because it is an easy (and so far practical) read.  It basically goes through the process of designing assessments, analyzing the data, and then creating and implementing an action plan.  It makes sense and is making a lot of the PLC (Professional Learning Community) process that we have been trying to implement in our math team, much clearer.

I am only up to chapter 3 (Action) and I am getting some potentially good ideas for the upcoming school year, but I am running into some things I am finding questionable, such as, this whole process feels very much like teaching to the test, which, in my opinion is not the best way to teach middle school mathematics.   The book also makes the big point of looking at the final assessment, which in my case is the 7th grade Common Core Math Exam, which they do not release copies of, only sample questions (which I have found in the past not to be the most reliable.  They also stress getting data fro the test back right away and that when doing analysis, you should have a copy of the test in front of you, however, whenever we do finally get an item analysis of the prior year's state test (usually in the late Fall), again, we don't have the test in front of us, so how deep of an analysis can we really do?

I don't want to appear totally negative, because I am getting a lot of good ideas from the book, these were just a few things that were bugging me.  I have been keeping my notes on each chapter in an ongoing Google Doc, which I have shared below, in case anyone is interested.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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