data improvement

Eye Opening! Harvard Researchers Say Data Isn’t Improving Student Outcomes

“Studying student data seems to not at all improve student outcomes in most of the evaluations I’ve seen,” said Heather Hill, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education , at a February 2022 presentation of the Research Partnership for Professional Learning, a new nonprofit organization that seeks to improve teaching.

As I read this study, I'm not surprised. For me, the data that improves student learning is formative data where I receive feedback as I'm teaching. I see what students know and if they are learning and then I adjust. It seems that much data is too far distant from the teaching process and that all of this data collection that has happened has basically done one thing — improve the bottom line of the data collection industry.

As the subtitle says “problems pinpointed but not solutions for teachers.”

There are solutions. Easy to use formative feedback. Tools that are integrated with one another where knowledge and data flows from one app to another. (Something I recently wrote about in USA Today.) Easy to use tools that give quick results to teachers that don't require teachers to do the heavy lifting. As well as collapsing the float of data and ensuring that accurate data on what is currently being taught flows to teachers as they are teaching. These are just a few suggestions I have as a classroom teacher.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Jason Ravitz March 2, 2022 - 11:41 am

Remove last part of link to make the report link work. Thank you for sharing! <– remove "_wp_link_placeholder

Vicki Davis March 16, 2022 - 8:30 pm

Thanks, done!

Vicki Davis March 16, 2022 - 8:29 pm

Thanks Jason. I’m tinkering with a new tool and messed it up. I’ve fixed it. Thanks for the comment and suggestion.


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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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