Activity Guide

Utilizing Data To Build a Student Profile

Building a student profile, which identifies goals, areas of success, deficiencies, preparation, and perceptions, is a first step toward planning and accomplishing academic improvements using the voice of each student. Identifying what data to gather and analyzing what the data tells us are critical steps in the process. Have your teacher teams read and discuss the following resource.

Reading: “Analyzing Data for Schoolwide and Individual Student Improvement,” Making the Mathematics Curriculum Count, 2011, pp. 35–56.

Principals, teachers, parents, and students cannot make effective instructional decisions without the skillful use of current student data. The information and tables provided in this chapter excerpt demonstrate how to use the four data types to create a student profile that can inform goal setting and instructional decision making. While the examples here are specific to examining and improving mathematics achievement outcomes, they can easily be adapted to improve any subject or skill area. The Profile template in Appendix 7 will provide one sample format for use with students.

  • Guide faculty (or data/leadership team) through an examination of this chapter excerpt. Ensure that all participants understand the meaning and role of the various types of data (perceptual, formative, summative, and demographic) by giving examples of each from your local school data. Stress the importance of perceptual data when interviewing students. Compare their perception of achievement with the other types of their data.
  • Next, participants should identify what data they have and what data will need to be gathered before the individual profile can be completed. Determine a timeline for assembling the needed data and who will take responsibility for the task. To facilitate this process, you can download an Information Gathering Template. Remember that questions and prompts for this template on pages 53–55 (and others that follow) may be modified from the mathematics theme by adding supplements or making deletions to customize the tool for the programs or initiatives used at your school.
  • Once you have identified what data to gather and made it available to your team or teamsdownload the following template: Personal Plan for Mathematics Achievement. Use this template to: 
    • Identify goals and attitudes
    • Set improvement targets (both short and long term) collaboratively
    • Identify tasks for successful improvement and timelines
    • Determine needed resources (professional development, materials, personnel)
    • Make a plan for monitoring your progress
    • Prepare the final observation/interview summary
    • Establish parents as partners in setting goals and implementing the personal plan