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Kristin Vesely

Data Analysis Reflection


9-21-14

Data analysis is something that all good teachers and researchers do for different
reasons. Consequently, I analyzed the past three years of data for two schools to look at
patterns or the lack there of. I decided to take a look at Patrick Henry and Whittier
Middle Schools. While Patrick Henry and Whittier have some differences, I thought it
would be interesting to compare the schools because they have a similar number of
students in a similar location, but vastly different school environments. The outcome was
somewhat surprising.
This particular activity serves the Educator as a Developing Professional
Curriculum Model component of Researcher. I believe this to be true because many
hours of research was conducted to gather sufficient data and knowledge to understand
what I was looking at. In addition to looking at the report card from both schools, I had
to do some additional research on bringing up test scores for students with disabilities.
The very definition of a researcher in the EDPCM model claims that the educator seeks
to improve educational practices within the school setting. Some of my research has led
me in that direction.
Once the actual comparing of the data was underway I found it difficult to
differentiate between the two schools because there was a small differences in the overall
scores. One difference, however, was that Patrick Henry consistently had more advanced
students in math and reading than Whittier. That said, Whittier did have a greater
number of students in the proficient category. The biggest differences came in the
Students with Disabilities sub-group. I found that at both schools, special education

students were all doing much worse than their non-disabled peers. I did except that to be
the case, but what I found most disappointing was that there was roughly no change from
one grade to the next, especially in math. I started to reflect about the inconsistencies in
the special education curriculum. Inconsistencies such as no common time for planning,
no training as to what a co-taught classroom looks like and usually, very little curriculum
training for the teachers. All of these could be some of the reasons why the special
education math scores start low and tend to stay low for both schools.
It was because of these stagnant scores that I decided to write a goal for special
education math. In 2013, the highest proficient math class at Patrick Henry was the 6th
grade with 31% proficiency, followed by 7th grade with 30% and 8th grade with 22%. I
think a reasonable goal would be to strive for an average proficiency grade, across all
three levels, of 30% for the first year. This would allow for some opportunity to grow,
but not be so rigorous that it seems impossible.
As an administrator, it would be my duty, according to ELCC Building-Level
Standard 1.2 to not only identify a goal, but to also assess the organizational
effectiveness and come up with a plan to achieve that goal. I believe one way to achieve
this would be to start with the kids who are in an inclusion classroom. Schools need to
better prepare their teachers to teach in a co-taught classroom and give them the tools for
success. This is a process that would take more than one day or two, so this would have
to a culture change at the educational level. Schools need to invest in intensive training,
teaching strategies and time allotted for collaboration so that this method of teaching
becomes successful. Co-teaching is difficult, complex, and dependent on a host of

interwoven conditions, but success in co-taught, inclusive classes for many students with
disabilities is eminently possible (Wilson & Blednick, 2012, p2).
In conclusion, I found this activity to be very informative. Data analysis is
something that as a principal I will be asked to do repeatedly. In this particular
experience, it was interesting to go from the research stage to the end of the analysis,
writing a goal and coming up with a plan to implement this goal. While this can be a
daunting task, it is beneficial to have a team with you, something that I will keep in mind
for the future.

References
Wilson, G. L., & Blednick, J. (2012). Teaching in tandem. Association for Supervision
and Curriculum Development, 7(7), 1-2. Retrieved from
http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol7/707-wilson.aspx
Math/Reading Report Cards 2010-2013. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2014, from
http://doe.sd.gov/reportcard/