DSM: data improves school

Robert Swanson (robertswanson@icehouse.net)
Fri, 03 Nov 2000 11:53:49 -0800

Sudbury has created a large library of raw data on themselves. The students
and teachers are constantly taking data on eachother, some of which gets
reported to the judicial committee. This creates accountability. Because of
their intent it also creates freedom. Other benefits: public relations,
self-empowerment, substantiated success per their mission statement
(democracy), ability to plant change where it is needed most, constant
testing and analisys of function, 30 years of success. It is very unlikely,
I'd say impossible, that Sudbury could operate successfully without its
extent data collection. Should they wish to enhance function, they need only
slightly enhance data collection and analisys.

They had to be pushed, but when hospitals on the east coast decided to take
data on procedures and outcomes they were able to move through a lot of ego
and denial and discover what works. Because of data they are saving many
lives each year. This, largly because teams of people learned to work
together. No matter how smart intellect thinks it is, no matter the extent
of good intent, no matter the millions of dollars spent, without data the
effort is done in the dark.


on 11/2/00 7:51 PM, Rick Stansberger at rickstan@zianet.com wrote:

> Robert, I don't think we need any more data to know how to make effective
> schools. Daniel Greenberg had it right when he quoted Aristotle who had it
> right when he observed that people are naturally curious. What most people
> call "school" actually amputates curiosity ("Not now, Johnny, we're doing
> phonics") and replaces it with "motivation," which depends on tricks and
> reinforcement and is as clumsy as an artificial limb. Luckily, curiosity does
> grow back, and you can even do it to a limited extent in a factory school, as
> I
> did with some high-school seniors one year. It took a long time but I got
> them
> to find within themselves things they truly wanted to know, and, not
> surprisingly, those questions were the kind that really young kids ask: What
> keeps clouds up? Why doe zebras have stripes? Why are people mean? It made
> for some lively research and writing, especially since I allowed them to use
> interviews and not just written sources. We don't need any more research. We
> just need to go with what we know.
> Rick
> Robert Swanson wrote:
>> Whereas taking more data on student achievement won't improve school, taking
>> data on schooling can be a catalyst for change.
>> ----------
>> From: "Hathaway, Todd LTJG" <thathaway@spruance.navy.mil>
>> Reply-To: indigo-schools@egroups.com
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: FL. Dept. of Education [SMTP:commissioner@popmail.firn.edu]
>>> Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 1:16 PM
>>> To: doe@popmail.firn.edu
>>> Subject: 27 Florida Teachers to Participate in Research Project
>>> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 26, 2000 CONTACT: Karen Chandler or
>>> JoAnn Carrin (850) 488-9968
>>> 27 Florida Teachers to Participate in Research Project
>>> TALLAHASSEE-Education Commissioner Tom Gallagher today announced that 27
>>> Florida teachers will participate in the SERVE "Teachers as Researchers"
>>> project to be held in Naples September 27-29. The project goal is to
>>> assist with the creation of high-performance learning communities in
>>> these teachers' respective schools.
>>> "This is a great opportunity for teachers to upgrade their ability to
>>> solve learning and classroom problems and ultimately improve student and
>>> school success," Gallagher said.
>>> Teachers who successfully complete the training will be encouraged and
>>> supported in the implementation of a research study design that
>>> addresses a need in their schools. Research indicates that teachers who
>>> are also researchers and data collectors improve the climate of their
>>> classrooms and their whole school by becoming better problem solvers and
>>> making data-based decisions about their teaching. The project aims to
>>> train non-research-based teachers to conduct research in their classroom
>>> without being trained as statisticians.
>>> SERVE, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is an education
>>> organization with the mission to promote and support the continuous
>>> improvement of educational opportunities for all learners in the
>>> Southeast.
>>> A list of the 27 Florida teachers is attached.
>>> Name School Location/School
>>> Name .
>>> Mary Abbott, Naples, Manatee Elementary
>>> Robert Balog, Opa-locka, Opa-locka Elementary
>>> Debi Barrett-Hayes, Tallahassee, Florida State University School
>>> Barbara Campora, Orlando, Pineloch Elementary
>>> Robin Coolbeth, Inverness, Inverness Primary
>>> Mimi Eckert, Opa-locka, Opa-locka Elementary
>>> Maura Fernandez, Hialeah, North Twin Lakes Elementary
>>> Sarah Hebert, Inverness, Inverness Primary
>>> Scott Hebert, Inverness, Inverness Primary
>>> Carol Jensen, Naples, Laurel Oak Elementary
>>> Stacy Kabat, Opa-locka, Opa-locka Elementary
>>> Stephanie King, Miami, Design and Architecture Senior High
>>> Linda Mackin, Belle Glade, Glades Central Community High
>>> Dawn McFetridge, Naples, Manatee Elementary
>>> Susan Maguire, Miami, Design and Architecture Senior High
>>> Omar Monteagudo, Miami, Design and Architecture Senior High
>>> Sharon Morrison, Naples, Laurel Oak Elementary
>>> Carlos Navarro, Miami, Design and Architecture Senior High
>>> Tawanna Nelson, Hialeah, North Twin Lakes Elementary
>>> Evelyn Pender, Tallahassee, Kate Sullivan Elementary
>>> Rachel Peregoy, Belle Glade, Glades Central Community High
>>> Susan Roark, Port St. Lucie, C.A. Moore Elementary
>>> Wolfgang Roggenbuck, Orlando, Pineloch Elementary
>>> Laura Seinitz, Belle Glade, Glades Central Community High
>>> Sharon Smith, Orlando, Pineloch Elementary
>>> Moses Vazquez, Hialeah, North Twin Lakes Elementary
>>> Cedric Ward, Opa-locka,Opa-locka Elementary
>>> --
>>> Florida Department of Education
>>> Tom Gallagher, Commissioner
>>> Any comments or responses should be addressed to the contact person
>>> or office referenced in the body of each message. If you want to
>>> remove yourself from this mailing list, please complete the Mailing
>>> List Registration located at http://www.firn.edu/commissioner and
>>> choose the option, "Remove Your Name From The List".
>> Just imagine if they comapared data from a happy class and from a somber
>> class. Better, what if they compared student learning without snoopervision
>> compared to with. Better, what if students did the data collection on
>> schooling and set the data relative to their personal goals.
>> Whatever data is taken, the point is to compare realative methods and assess
>> what works better. And, if this data collection and analisys is working, do
>> it again, and again...
>> robert
> --
> Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
> Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.
> "The Unknown Citizen: (To JS/07/M/37 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the
> State)"
> W. H. Auden

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