Knowing and Using Reading Data

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Understanding your whole school reading data will help the data team to dig deeper into the areas identified (i.e., gender, Métis and First Nations, English as an Additional Language (EAL), students exceeding, not yet meeting, etc.). It is imperative that the team aligns their data focus and goals with the shared reading beliefs established by Essential Questions When Discussing Reading Data the school staff. Through a process built on intention and purpose, the goal of the data team is to discuss, inquire, infer, question, share, display and plan. The focus is on supporting individual students in
helping them move closer to their reading goal.

One of the first priorities of the school administrator is to know what data is available and to ensure that the data is used to guide decisions, practice and focus.

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TRY IT OUT
Use “Available Data Chart” to compile a list of available data sources in your school, division or First Nation education organization.part_toolbox_available_data_chart

ASK
What data sets are most helpful in keeping us focused on student reading achievement?

Essential Questions When Discussing Reading Data

Organizing reading data use around essential questions about student performance is a powerful strategy for building data literacy.

Consider the following questions:

  • How do student reading outcomes differ by demographics, programs and grades?
  • What are the current student reading outcomes for First Nations and Métis students?
  • To what extent have specific programs, interventions and resources (including First Nations and Métis resources) improved reading outcomes?
  • What is the longitudinal progress of a specific cohort of students?
  • What are the characteristics of students who achieve reading proficiency and of those who do not?
  • What are the specific reading behaviours or skills that each child needs to be taught to move his/her learning forward?
  • Where are we making the most progress in closing reading achievement gaps?
  • How does absence affect reading assessment results?
  • What is the correlation between the students’ reading data and their  engagement with reading?
    (Ronka, Lachat, Slaughter, Meltzer, 2009)

TRY IT OUT
Determine a reading data set with your team that you want to explore further (i.e., First Nations and Métis reading data).

ASK
What percentage of students at each grade in our school met the grade level expectations in reading?
Who are the students still striving to meet the grade level expectations and what interventions have we put in place to support these students specifically?

NOW ASK
How did the percentage of students in our identified population, who met the expected grade level expectations, compare to the provincial results? What are your observations and inferences?

NOW DO
Make a list of your new questions, discuss and begin to plan with staff how supports will look for individual students. Does your school’s support plan align with your school’s shared reading beliefs?

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                            A school administrator leads a data discussion with teachers.

“… principals must champion the importance of assessment for and as
learning by ensuring a consistent and continuous school-wide focus on
student learning and by using classroom, school, and system data to monitor progress.”
(Sharratt & Fullan, 2012, p. 43) sask_reads_action_knowing_using_reading_data

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Additional Resources
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VIDEO: Supporting Struggling Readers: How School Leaders Contribute to Effective Reading Programs