Data Literacy: Understanding Teachers' Data Use in a Context of Accountability and Response to Intervention

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Within the current high-stakes accountability context, student achievement data have become a central focus for instructional decisions given that teachers are held accountable for student performance. Furthermore, as response to intervention is implemented nationwide to identify and monitor students with disabilities, teachers will be required to use student data and become effective instructional decision makers who tailor instruction to meet the academic needs of all students. The aim of this study is to understand the qualitatively different ways that current practicing teachers are using data to inform instruction. Findings from teacher interviews are presented through the image of a ladder representing the stages that teachers experience as they engage in data usage to inform their instructional decision making. These findings have implications and possible applications for teacher educators and school-based practitioners alike in better supporting the professional development of preservice and in-service teachers for this data-driven context of schools.

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Action in Teacher Education, v. 31, issue 3, p.41-55