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Book Review                                            Pages 38-39

 

Data Wise 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results

to Improve Teaching and Learning

edited by Kathryn Parker Boudett, Elizabeth A. City and Richard J. Murnane, Harvard Education Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2013, 259 pp. with index. $28.45 softcover

BookDataWise

The first edition of Data Wise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning, edited by Kathryn Parker Boudett, Elizabeth A. City and Richard J. Murnane, has served as a treasured resource and guide for bringing coherence to school improvement efforts.

The most significant addition to the newly revised and expanded edition is the more explicit focus on leadership, culture and context. Using data to improve teaching and learning not only requires that leaders adopt a thoughtful process for school improvement, but also that they cultivate a new way of thinking about the work of educators.

The authors refer to this new way of thinking as the ACE habits of mind. These habits include a shared commitment to action, assessment and adjustment, intentional collaboration and a relentless focus on evidence. Each chapter includes thoughtful discussion related to the integration of these essential habits for each of the eight steps in the authors’ recommended improvement process. These habits of mind are not only essential to the data-wise process, but also should help shape the way district leaders routinely engage in inquiry and decision making in all areas of district work.

Like the earlier edition, this comprehensive and well-organized book provides a detailed description of the step-by-step cyclical improvement process. It also contains helpful protocols for engaging collaboratively in using data effectively. The book can be easily differentiated to meet diverse needs and interests, and all chapters can serve as standalone resources.

Even readers familiar with the data-wise process will benefit from the new emphasis on leadership and lessons learned found in this new expanded edition.

Reviewed by Mary B. Herrmann, clinical assistant professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

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