The use of data to inform educational decisions is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. An article in the most recent American Educational Research Journal describes the effect of a two-year schoolwide data-based decision-making intervention, called Focus, on student achievement.
Focus trains schoolwide teams of teachers and administrators to use
data to guide their teaching using a protocol developed at the
University of Twente in the Netherlands. Staff receive seven training
meetings in year 1 and four training meetings in year 2, and are
provided with documents and planning aids to help them track student
data and progress.
Fifty-three primary schools (1,193 staff members) in the Netherlands
used Focus to apply student achievement data to guide instruction during
a two-year study. All schools (n=53) were trained to use data-based
decision-making in mathematics during years 1 and 2, and had the option
to also use it in spelling lessons in year 2 (n=38). Student achievement
data from standardised maths tests given twice a year were collected
for children aged 6-12 for two years before implementing Focus and then
for two years during the intervention. Results showed benefits of the
intervention equal to an extra month of schooling and were most
statistically significant for students from low socio-economic
Source: Assessing the Effects of a School-Wide
Data-Based Decision-Making Intervention on Student Achievement Growth in
Primary Schools (2016), American Educational Research Journal.