Research for Better Teaching Presents at Learning Forward Annual Conference

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Sessions focus on impact of Skillful Data Use on school improvement.

Research for Better Teaching, Inc. (RBT -, an established professional development organization for educators with focus on sustainable school improvement, has announced that Research for Better Teaching representatives presented as part of the company’s Skillful Data Use(sm) initiative at the Learning Forward 2011 Annual Conference “Capture the Magic” December 3 to 7 in Anaheim, California.

RBT led the following sessions within the “Impact” strand of the conference that examined the link between professional learning and student achievement:

  •     After Data Analysis, Then What? Putting Purposeful Action Back into Action Plans

Featuring RBT program director Nancy Love and consultants Mary Ann Haley-Speca and Deborah Reed, the session provided insight into how to prevent common pitfalls of developing action plans for school improvement. Pitfalls include jumping to premature conclusions about what is causing the problem, lack of clarity about intended outcomes, and failure to monitor implementation and results along the way. Powerful tools are available to help ensure that data use leads to improved results, including a logic model for getting from a student learning problem and verified cause to a data-identified student learning goal.

  •     Collaborative Inquiry: A Success Story

Featuring RBT consultant Aminata Umoja together with Akida Long from the Los Angeles United School District, the session explored how an urban elementary school with a primarily African-American population and a growing Latino culture, with over 80% on free and reduced lunch, went from needs improvement to receiving a state achievement award. This was achieved by building leadership capacity, engaging in structured collaboration, and developing an equity lens for analyzing data, including awareness of the assumptions and cultural lenses brought to the data interpretation. During the session, participants learned about tools to analyze data and transform an unhealthy culture into a high-functioning one.

“RBT’s Skillful Data Use initiative focuses developing high-functioning Data Teams and Data Coaches essential to improving teaching and student results. Participating in the Learning Forward conference was a great opportunity to share our experiences with educators from across the country and to further our own learning as well,” commented Nancy Love, RBT program director.

Learning Forward is a nonprofit, international association of learning educators focused on increasing student achievement through more effective professional development. The association provides education leaders the connections, tools, learning opportunities, and resources they need to understand and implement effective professional learning in their schools, including the Learning Forward 2011 Annual Conference.

About Research for Better Teaching, Inc. (RBT)
Research for Better Teaching, Inc. is an established professional development organization for educators offering nationally recognized programs to school districts for administrators, teachers, and coaches. RBT prides itself in being a partner with the educational community in supporting sustainable school improvement. Established in 1979 by Jon Saphier, RBT has been leading the way for improved skills for teachers and furthering the mission to provide quality education. Programs, publications and consulting focus on building in-house professional development to ensure skillful teaching, developing teacher evaluation systems, training data coaches and data teams, and developing leadership skills for strong school cultures. RBT is headquartered in Acton, Massachusetts, outside of Boston.

© 2011 Research for Better Teaching, Inc. All rights reserved. Research for Better Teaching and RBTeach are service marks of Research for Better Teaching, Inc.

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Marion Dancy
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