When I begin working with a campus, one of the first actions undertaken is the collection and disaggregation of relevant data. This includes discipline data, assessment data and instructional delivery data. What is interesting is that when the initial results are shared with most staffs they get angry, question the validity of the collection instruments, blame external factors and argue that the whole exercise is a waste of time and should be stopped immediately.
What these staffs understand at a sub-conscious level but are working hard to ignore is that data is a mirror. Data shows us who we really are, warts and all. Unfortunately, who we really are doesn’t always match with who we think we are. And the fault isn’t with the mirror.
When you start using campus and teacher data and you face this staff demand to break the mirror, you have two options. You can push through the opposition, insist that your staff engages in an honest dialogue, purposely work to improve and see the quality of instruction and student performance begin to rapidly improve. Or you can cave under the pressures of negativity and self-interest and sacrifice the long-term instructional needs of your students for the short-term self esteem needs of adults. Is that really a hard decision?
Think. Work. Achieve.