Data Cultures

Educators at PICCS schools are learning to implement the TERC Data Use approach to build data cultures at their schools. The approach is based on the research-based methodologies and materials documented in Nancy Love’s book The Data Coach’s Guide to Improving Learning for All Students (Corwin Press, 2008). The core belief that guides the data use approach is that significant improvement in student learning and in closing achievement gaps is a moral responsibility and a real possibility in a relatively short amount of time—two to three years. Working in groups of professional learning communities (PLCs), PICCS educators are learning to deconstruct student learning problems and test out solutions through the rigorous use of data and reflective dialogue through the five-step process described below.


Step 1 – Building the Foundation
Task 1 – Launch the Data Team
Task 2 – Reflect on Our School
Task 3 – Raise Awareness of Cultural Proficiency
Task 4 – Commit to Shared Values, Standards and Vision

Step 2 – Identifying a Student-Learning Problem
Task 5 – Build Data Literacy
Task 6 – Drill Down into Aggregate-Level Analysis
Task 7 – Drill Down into Disaggregate-Level Analysis
Task 8 – Drill Down into Strand-Level Analysis
Task 9 – Drill Down into Item-Level Analysis
Task 10 – Examine Student Work
Task 11 – Drill Down into Formative Assessments and other Local Student-Learning Data Sources
Task 12 – Identify a Student-Learning Problem and Goal

Step 3 – Verifying Causes
Task 13 – Conduct Cause-and-Effect Analysis
Task 14 – Verify Causes through Research and Local Data

Step 4 – Generating Solutions
Task 15 – Build Your Logic Model
Task 16 – Refine Outcomes and Strategies
Task 17 – Develop a Monitoring Plan

Step 5 – Implementing, Monitoring & Achieving Results
Task 18 – Take Action and Monitor Results
Task 19 – Celebrate Success and Renew Collaborative Inquiry

The TERC Data Use approach has proven effective in a range of public school systems around the country. To review case studies of schools and districts, see