A Case Study of Crestwood Primary School: Organizational Routines Implemented For Data-Driven Decison Making

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Virginia Tech

The research study investigated how organizational routines influenced classroom and intervention instruction in a primary school. Educators have used student data for decades but they continue to struggle with the best way to use data to influence instruction. The historical overview of the research highlighted the context of data use from the Effective Schools movement through the No Child Left Behind Act noting the progression of emphasis placed on student data results. While numerous research studies have focused on the use of data, the National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance (2009) reported that existing research on the use of data to make instructional decisions does not yet provide conclusive evidence of what practices work to improve student achievement.

A descriptive case study methodology was employed to investigate the educational phenomenon of organizational routines implemented for data-driven decision making to influence classroom and intervention instruction. The case study examined a school that faced the macrolevel pressures of school improvement. The study triangulated data from surveys, interviews, and document analysis in an effort to reveal common themes about organizational routines for data-driven decision making.

The study participants identified 14 organizational routines as influencing instruction. The interview questions focused on the common themes of (a) curriculum alignment, (b) common assessments, (c) guided reading levels, (d) professional learning communities, and (e) acceleration plans. The survey respondents and interview participants explained how the organizational routines facilitated the use of data by providing (a) focus and direction, (b) student centered instruction, (c) focus on student growth, (d) collaboration and teamwork, (e), flexible grouping of students, and (f) teacher reflection and ownership of all students. Challenges and unexpected outcomes of the organizational routines for data-driven decision making were also discussed. The challenges with the most references included (a) time, (b) too much data (c) data with conflicting information, (d) the pacing guide, and (e) changing teacher attitudes and practices. Ultimately, a data-driven culture was cultivated within the school that facilitated instructional adjustments resulting in increased academic achievement.

data-driven decision making, organizational routines, Academic achievement, school improvement