Means, B., Chen, E., DeBarger, A., and Padilla, C. (2011). Teachers’ Ability to Use Data to Inform Instruction: Challenges and Supports, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, U. S. Department of Education.
The national Study of Education Data Systems and Decision Making documented the availability and features of education data systems and the prevalence and nature of data-informed decision making in districts and schools. That study, like past research, found that teachers’ likelihood of using data in decision making is affected by how confident they feel about their knowledge and skills in data analysis and data interpretation (U.S. Department of Education 2008). Unfortunately, teacher training programs generally have not addressed data skills and data informed decision-making processes. Understanding the nature of teachers’ proficiencies and difficulties in data use is important for providing appropriate training and support to teachers, because they are expected to use student data as a basis for improving the effectiveness of their practice.