Thursday, 14 April 2016

Measuring for Success - Springboard Trust

Yesterday I had the privilege of listening to Dr Cathy Wylie (NZCER's Chief Researcher) and Mike Bazett (KPMG). Two question they addressed were
  • How do you know you are achieveing?
  • Are you collecting the right information?
Here are my top takeaways
The importance of using objective and subjective data. Subjective data alongside objective data can provide indicators of success and provide a warning when needed. Cathy Wylie likened this to the formative student data (student voice, student engagement data) and school culture data. These need to be valued and monitored closely as they will effectively be our indicators that will serve as evidence of our success or alert us to the ‘cliff’ if need be. By cliff, I am alluding to a downward spiral or decrease in effectiveness of strategies etc.

Mike made it explicitly clear that our measures need to be fit for purpose. We need to make sure we measure what counts. Don’t focus on the HOW. Unpack the WHAT and used this develop a shared clarity and language to get everyone on board.  This reminded me of my first Spark MIT meeting where Dorothy and Juanita really helped me unpack my inquiry allowing me to pinpoint the data I need to collect and utilise.

When dealing with external stakeholders it is vital to engage others and getting a common language. This is something that needs to be strengthened between the board, and parents. I say these two groups because us teachers are in between and have the liberty of decoding and unpacking what each party is thinking. However our parents can often become disconnected to the board, with their only means of communication being through newsletters etc which often come from the Principal.  This is something to keep in mind when developing my shared innovation.  It needs to embrace a shared language between the school and whanau whilst strengthening this language between our learners and their whanau.

With any strategies in school, keep them simple and understand what you need to change. This will keep measure simple and effective.

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