As our community grows, it becomes increasingly important to document the good work that is happening in the field so that everyone can learn from it. Certified Data Wise Coach Max Yurkofsky and HGSE Professor Monica Higgins just published Scaling Up Data Wise in Prince George’s County Public Schools, a case study that explores how this Maryland district embraced collaborative data inquiry at all levels of their district. PGC’s Office of Continuous Systemic Improvement (OCSI), a team led by Data Wise Advisory Board Member David Rease, Jr. that includes many certified and aspiring Data Wise coaches, is responsible for supporting both schools and central office departments in their improvement journeys.
The case describes how the OCSI team learned that a few minor wording changes to the Data Wise steps (for example, framing Step 5 as “Examine Own Practice” instead of “Examine Instruction”) could make the process relevant to educators at all levels of the system, whether their primary learners were students or the adults who serve them. A couple of years ago, the Data Wise Project formally incorporated these adjustments into a universal version of the Data Wise Improvement Process that we now teach to institute participants who are interested in using collaborative inquiry beyond the school level.
The “Universal Swoosh” is described in more detail in Using Data Wisely at the System Level, a recent article written by Certified Data Wise Coaches Meg Lockwood and Mary Dillman and Data Wise Project Director Kathy Boudett. This article follows the throughline of the improvement journey of Mary’s team of data inquiry facilitators in Boston Public Schools. The team, which is responsible for building the capacity of schools to engage in collaborative data inquiry, has a regular practice of engaging in their own improvement cycles, and the article traces the progress they made in working toward supporting schools in deeply integrating new instructional strategies in their classrooms.