Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership
An important dimension to organizational learning and to knowledge management is the recognition that your best people aren’t easily replaced. The collective smartness of your school staff goes up and down depending on who is in the building that day, and equally important, who is collaborating or talking to teach other. As Leana finds, organizational memory, the knowledge of colleagues, and hard-won experience with a particular grade level/subject area really do matter. My bet is that this applies to data use, too. It takes effort to interpret data, and what we see in data (or how we see it influencing classroom practice) is shaped by the colleagues around us.
Adding to this line of thought, TNTP has released a new report on issues in teacher retention called “The Irreplaceables.” Given this review by Ned Stanley, I’ve decided to put it at the top of my reading list. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about district-level approaches to supervision and teacher development, and I’m guessing that this report will provoke additional thought. It is disastrous to schools to bleed talent, and part of keeping good people is about honoring (and compensating) teachers as talented professionals.
Comments or suggestions on effective district practices for keeping and developing teachers are always welcomed.