School of the Nations commits to continuous improvement to impact student learning, strengthen our community, and fulfill our vision and mission. Data analysis is an essential tool in guiding our efforts to better understand our students’ progress and needs and the efficacy of our instruction and educational programs.
School of the Nations invited renowned Consultant, Mr. Scott Genzer, Chief Executive Officer of the Genzer Consulting firm, to train teachers and staff on data analysis. He met with teachers on September 18 and worked with our Information Technology staff and Data Team on September 19 and 20.
Mr. Genzer explored best practices in data use in education and guided us in learning how to better systematize data collection and analysis. He explained the ideas of accuracy versus precision, correlation versus causation, data-driven versus data-informed decision making, and triangulation. He shared with us Four Guiding Principles of Data Analysis:
Measure What Matters
Communicate what students must achieve and have the data to ensure each is on track to succeed. If it is important, you should measure it. Everything can be measured. It is only a question of accuracy and precision.
Make Data Use Possible
Give teachers and leaders the training, support, and flexibility necessary to answer their questions and to act.
Be Transparent and Earn Trust
Ensure everyone in the school community understands how students are doing, how the school is doing, why data is valuable, how the school uses it, and how we protect it. Collecting data without using it violates trust.
Guarantee Access and Protect Student Privacy
Give teachers and parents timely information on their students’ performance, and ensure it is kept safe.
Teachers and staff gained many insights from Mr. Genzer’s guidance. Using data effectively to better inform us about students’ needs is essential to our professional practice.
About Scott Genzer
Scott Genzer is the President and CEO of Genzer Consulting, an education data analysis company founded in 2013. He works with schools in the U.S. and abroad to help them use data to improve student learning both on-site and remotely from his office in Vermont. Scott worked in K-12 independent schools in the U.S. and internationally for 20 years as a middle school and high school math teacher, science teacher, assistant principal, and principal. He is the author of Mathematical Studies for the IB Diploma: Study Guide published in 2009 by Oxford University Press and was a senior mathematics examiner for the International Baccalaureate for over ten years. Scott has spoken at education conferences on math education and education data analysis for many years. Recently, this has included training in schools in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panama, and Curaçao, and speaking engagements at the 2016 Tri-Association Annual Educators' Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico and the 2016 AdvancED Latin America Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He holds degrees in engineering, mathematics education, and educational leadership, and is a certified RapidMiner Data Analyst.
Everything can be measured. It is only a question of accuracy and precision.
If it is important, you should measure it.