Data and Improvement Science

Data Literacy Training is an important aspect of using data to improve instruction. All of the data you can pull will only give you data. It’s knowing what to do with it that makes a difference.

Hans Rosling was someone who knew what do to with all of that data. TedTalk provides great examples of how to use data to write a narrative:

The best Hans Rosling talks you’ve ever seen

How Not To Be Ignorant About the World


Argos is a web-based application which provides tools to create ad-hoc, simple, or advanced queries to retrieve and analyze data from our data warehouse. An Argos “dashboard” is a customized query that presents data in a specific, formatted layout. The layout may include additional filter options, interactive charts and graphs, and OLAP cubes. Access to Argos is controlled by WebSIS security settings.

LBL ESD provides an extensive set of dashboards. We also work with authorized district administrators or staff to discuss and develop customized dashboards if needed. Unlimited training and support (at no additional cost) is available.

Improvement Science

“All improvement requires change, but not all change is an improvement.” When we realize that a change needs to be made, there are times it seems like an overwhelming task. BIG problems seem like they need BIG solutions, but the Carnegie Foundation has shown that big problems need many small solutions on a continuous growth and learning journey.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching aims to build a field around the use of improvement science and networked improvement communities to solve longstanding inequities in educational outcomes.

Using Improvement Science to Accelerate Learning and Address Problems of Practice

Carnegie advocates for the use of improvement science to accelerate how a field learns to improve. Improvement science deploys rapid tests of change to guide the development, revision and continued fine-tuning of new tools, processes, work roles and relationships.

Improvement science is explicitly designed to accelerate learning-by-doing. It’s a more user-centered and problem-centered approached to improving teaching and learning.

As the improvement process advances, previously invisible problems often emerge and improvement activities may need to tack in new directions. The objective here is quite different from the traditional pilot program that seeks to offer a proof of concept. Improvement research, in contrast, is a focused learning journey. The overall goal is to develop the necessary know-how for a reform idea ultimately to spread faster and more effectively. Since improvement research is an iterative process often extending over considerable periods of time, it is also referred to as continuous improvement.