A few weeks into my first year as a teacher, my colleagues and I met for our first “data team” meeting of the year.
Our principal had printed results from the previous year’s standardized tests and given a copy to each of us.
“Take a few minutes to look at the data, and then we’ll decide what inferences we can make from it,” he instructed.
He had a book with him – something with “data coaches” in the title – and was following a protocol laid out within.
I looked at the graphs, then – smiling – at my principal.
Surely he was joking.
At that point in the year, I had only five students – four third graders and one fifth grader – in a self-contained special ed classroom for kids with severe emotional disturbances. They were children who had experienced extreme trauma and abuse, and who struggled to…
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