SDP Fellow in the News: Making Big Data Useful Rather Than Scary for Teachers

November 1, 2017

Former Cohort 7 Fellow and current SDP Supervisor, Michael LaMont, helps Atlanta Public School teachers obtain and use data to better understand and leverage their students. He has helped introduce new teacher dashboards which offers information for teachers at the classroom level.

ATLANTA — School had already let out for the day, but the teachers at Hollis Innovation Academy in northwest Atlanta were gathered around tables in the library, laptops open, strategizing. Their screens showed how their current students had performed on last year’s state tests by subject, like English or math, and specific domain, like vocabulary or measurement.Students were sorted into three categories coded by color — red for “remediate,” yellow for “monitor” and green for “accelerate” — and teachers could quickly see where they clustered.

Ron Blaché and Marie Hall were comparing notes. Hall teaches fifth grade and Blaché teaches art, so they share students. Blaché was zooming in on the math domain “measurement and data.” Hall’s students had struggled in that area and she had asked if Blaché could incorporate art projects that might help them. His ideas came quickly. He knew he could get students measuring with rulers more frequently, for one.

“I just have to be more creative,” Blaché said.

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