Study examines teachers' perceptions of student achievement data

By Learning Forward
June 2019
Vol. 40, No. 3
Conversations about effective professional learning communities often point to a focus on data as a way to get specific about differentiated instruction and maintain a focus on student progress. Policymakers recently have paid quite a bit of attention to the potential of data-driven decision-making to learn more about and potentially improve instruction and address achievement gaps. Yet there is a wide range of interpretations about what data are most valuable, what teachers are expected to do with or think about student data, and how exactly the connections between data and instruction are supposed to be informed and addressed. This line of thinking is especially interesting in light of several ongoing Learning Forward projects. We are particularly interested in how conversations about student learning can be

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Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth Foster ( is associate director of standards, research, and strategy at Learning Forward. In each issue of The Learning Professional, Foster explores recent research to help practitioners understand the impact of particular professional learning practices on student outcomes.


Evans, M., Teasdale, R.M., Gannon-Slater, N., La Londe, P.G., Crenshaw, H.L., Greene, J.C., & Schwandt, T.A. (2019). How did that happen? Teachers’ explanations for low test scores. Teachers College Record, 121(2).

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Danielson, C. (2016). Talk about teaching (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Hirsh, S. & Crow, T. (2018). Becoming a learning team (2nd ed.). Oxford, OH: Learning Forward.

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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