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Practice: Evaluate implementation to document

what you are doing


Key Action: Select appropriate and practical instruments

TOOL: Taking Inventory of Existing Data

Purpose: Knowing what data are essential to your evaluation,


which data you already have, where they are, and what
shape they are in is a major first step in the data
collection process. These documents describe three
types of data important to program evaluation, describe
their purposes, and offer some examples. There is
also a School Data Inventory table that can be used as
a checklist for collecting student demographic and
achievement data. These can serve as the starting
point for determining what type of implementation data
you want to collect.

Instructions: 1. Taking into account your magnet program’s goals


and objectives, review the “Types of Data” list as a
starting point for considering categories of data you
want to collect for your evaluation.

2. Use the “School Data Inventory” as a checklist to


identify specifics of your data collection, including the
format and source for data that is already available.
Practice: Evaluate implementation to document
what you are doing
Key Action: Select appropriate and practical instruments

TYPES OF DATA
Demographic Data
Why collect demographic data?
• To have up-to-date information about the students, school staff, and community,
• To monitor changes in the school and community,
• To provide a rich context for interpreting student achievement results, and
• To provide information for school improvement planning.

What are some examples of demographic data?

• Students
• Gender
• Race/ethnicity
• Economically disadvantaged (free/reduced lunch, mother’s education) status
• English language proficiency status
• Mobility

• School
• Enrollment, number of students
• Student attendance: absence, tardiness
• Student behavior: suspensions, expulsions
• Dropout rates
• Graduation rates
• School calendar and schedule
• Health-related data
• Facilities data
• School budget data

• Staff (administrators, teachers, support staff)


• Education
• Types of teaching certificates, authorizations
• Years of experience
• Staff attendance
• Professional development participation, activities
• Turnover rates
• Hobbies and interests

• Parents/community
• Parent/guardian participation in conferences, school activities
• Parent/school advisory board member background, experience, expertise, interests
• Family structure
• Population and housing trends
• Economic base
• Local businesses, service organizations

From Developing an effective school plan: An activity-based guide to understanding your school and improving student outcomes, by Lori
Van Houten et al., copyright ©2006. San Francisco: WestEd. Reproduced with permission. http://www.wested.org/cs/we/view/rs/795.

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Practice: Evaluate implementation to document
what you are doing
Key Action: Select appropriate and practical instruments

• Local colleges, universities, museums, libraries, archives


• Local newspapers and community newsletters

From Developing an effective school plan: An activity-based guide to understanding your school and improving student outcomes, by Lori
Van Houten et al., copyright ©2006. San Francisco: WestEd. Reproduced with permission. http://www.wested.org/cs/we/view/rs/795.

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Practice: Evaluate implementation to document
what you are doing
Key Action: Select appropriate and practical instruments

Student Achievement Data

Why collect student achievement data?


• To determine if students are learning the content standards,
• To use as a basis for accountability,
• To find out if ALL students are learning and progressing,
• To see how students compare nationally,
• To inform curriculum development or revision,
• To determine strategies for improving instruction,
• To know which programs are increasing student achievement, and
• To provide information for school improvement planning.

What are some examples of student achievement data?

• Types and sources of student achievement assessment data


• Achievement compared to national norm group — norm-referenced achievement tests
• Achievement for college entrance compared to national student sample — SAT, ACT, National
Assessment of Educational Progress
• State standards-based, criterion-referenced assessments, special assessments
• District achievement progress assessments including summative, benchmark, curriculum-
embedded assessments
• Classroom assessments including paper-pencil tests, performance tasks, and student work
• Student grades and progress reports of content objectives
• State assessment and yearly progress reports

• Types of student achievement scores


• Raw scores: number and percentage of items correct
• Percentile rank scores based on a norm group (e.g., national, state students)
• Normal Curve Equivalent scores
• Percentage of proficient students
• Scale scores

• Levels of score aggregation/disaggregation


• Scores for the entire school, grade, class/teacher
• Scores for the total test, subtests, content strands, objective clusters
• Scores disaggregated by student demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity,
English language learner status, mobility status, economic status)
• Scores disaggregated by special program (e.g., special education, English learner, migrant
student)

From Developing an effective school plan: An activity-based guide to understanding your school and improving student outcomes, by Lori
Van Houten et al., copyright ©2006. San Francisco: WestEd. Reproduced with permission. http://www.wested.org/cs/we/view/rs/795.

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Practice: Evaluate implementation to document
what you are doing
Key Action: Select appropriate and practical instruments

Curriculum, Instruction, and Program Data

Why collect curriculum, instruction, and program data?


• To know which students participate in the various programs
• To determine which curriculum objectives are taught (e.g., indicators of students’ opportunities to
learn)
• To determine if a program is being implemented as it should be
• To determine how a school instructional strategy (e.g., block scheduling, year-round school
schedule) is implemented
What are some examples of these data?

• Curriculum and instruction data


• District, school, department, teachers’ long-term/yearly plans for sequencing and teaching the
curriculum objectives, curriculum maps, schedule of department course offerings
• Class size, course offerings, course enrollment
• Technology plans and other instructional support information
• Alignment of the primary and resource instructional materials to the curriculum
standards/objectives documents
• Teachers’ lesson plans with instructional objectives, activities, and assessments correlated with
the curriculum objectives, sample standards-based units
• Classroom observations of teacher’s instructional and management strategies
• Student records/checklists of curriculum content objectives and student work
• Grade-level and department meeting agendas and notes
• Professional development course offerings, activities, and participants, evaluations
• Teacher collaboration and professional activities
• Professional books and journals; national professional organization resources

• Program data
• Program goals/objectives, development information, program proposal
• Program-related research studies and results
• Program implementation requirements, plans, timelines
• Program participants, selection criteria, and training documentation:
program coordinator(s), students, teachers, aides, parents/community
• Program implementation and outcome evaluation data, reports

From Developing an effective school plan: An activity-based guide to understanding your school and improving student outcomes, by Lori
Van Houten et al., copyright ©2006. San Francisco: WestEd. Reproduced with permission. http://www.wested.org/cs/we/view/rs/795.

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Practice: Evaluate implementation to document
what you are doing
Key Action: Select appropriate and practical instruments

SCHOOL DATA INVENTORY

Types of Data included in the Inventory:
• Student Demographics
• Student Achievement

Directions: Use this data inventory as a checklist. The data generally refer to the number of students, 
teachers/staff, or parents/community members.

• Demographic Characteristic: Check the box  next to the data that you have and are ready to use. 

• Data Level: School — data aggregated for the whole school; grade — data by grade.

• Format of Data: Write the data format (e.g., SASI electronic file, ACCESS file, a data warehouse file, 
or 
paper report).

• Years: Indicate the years for which you have the data.

• Data Location: District office, school, and state website; write the name of the person who keeps the 
data.

• Disaggregated: Check if this data are disaggregated and indicate in the comments section by what 
variable.

• Comments: Write any comments about the data that will help you remember what it is and how to get 
it, etc.  

From Developing an effective school plan: An activity-based guide to understanding your school and improving student outcomes, by Lori
Van Houten et al., copyright ©2006. San Francisco: WestEd. Reproduced with permission. http://www.wested.org/cs/we/view/rs/795.