Data Driven Leadership
Professor Heffernan has recently partnered with the NAESP to help their members adopt ASSISTments. NAESP is working to help develop recommendation for use by principals. See here for NAESP's announcement.
See here for NAESP's call that asked for participating districts.
Even though that call is now closed, Professor Heffernan is offering a training for principals. Below are some excellent resources you can get started using now to become a data-driven school or district.
Books about using data to driven decision making
Professor Heffernan recommends to principals the following books on the topic of reforming your schools with data driven methods.
- Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction by Paul Banbrink-Santoyo and available at Amazon.
- Rethinking Teacher Supervision and Evaluation by Kim Marshall and available at Amazon.
- Whatever It Takes by Rebecca Dufour et al. and available at Amazon.
These books help principals understand the role of putting into place common assessments so that Professional Learning Communities can get together and look at common data. ASSISTments is excellent for this because it allows school to put up common assessments and allows teachers to see data quickly.
Article with good background information
Here is an article written for principals and superintendents by Professor Matt Militello of North Carolina State Principals Preparation Program.
- Militello, M., & Heffernan, N. (2009). Which one is "just right"? What educators should know about formative assessment systems. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 4(3), 1-8.
Other Qualitative work describing ASSISTments
- Here is an article on our vision how ASSISTments could be used to kick start a Professional Learning Community. Article.
- If you are looking for documentation on how to use ASSISTments you can read this user manual. User manual and Information for getting started or listen to teachers talk about how they use it.
- While not focused on school leaders, this has stories about how real teachers are using ASSISTments.
- Heffernan, N, Militello, M., Heffernan, C. & Decoteau, M. (in press). Effective and meaningful use of educational technology: three cases from the classroom. In C. Dede & J. Richards, (Eds.), Digital teaching platforms. New York: Teacher’s College Press.
Phase in Strategies
An outline of the steps to implementation.
Lots of teachers currently like ASSISTments. They learned about it and start using it. How do you, as a school leader, help teachers be excited about this, while as the same time, leading your staff so that ASSISTments is a school-wide adoption? We are happy to help you think through the multi-year strategy allowing all of your teachers to be involved while at the same time, allowing some of the more cutting edge teachers to more early adoption features before the whole school does. For instance, you want to have one of two teachers pilot test the parent notification system before demanding all the teachers start using it. Your pilot tester teacher will be able to help you win over the whole staff on its value.
A strategy Heffernan has seen work is where principals demand period benchmarks be done on ASSISTments school wide. Then months later, your teachers will be asking for the PD needed to for them to start adopting the features that allow them to use the features that allow them to assign new problem sets based upon the data from the benchmarks assessments. the Data Driven Feature is a key feature to learn in this respect.