LinkIt! Issues "Step Back, Leap Forward: A 2012-2013 Data-Driven Instruction Survey"

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Nationwide survey of K-12 administrators, principals and teachers provides comprehensive insights for Common Core Standards, PARCC and Smarter Balanced initiatives

LinkIt! (http://www.linkit.com), the K-12 education technology, assessment and data-management company, announced today the results from their “Step Back, Leap Forward Report: A 2012-2013 Data-Driven Instruction Survey.” This nationwide survey of over 500 K-12 school principals and district administrators was designed to capture the collective voice of actual practitioners as they contemplate and prepare for a confluence of modernization initiatives including accountability, assessment, technology, student performance, teacher efficacy and other critical issues spanning the K-12 education sector. The results offer valuable insight as many school districts prepare for Common Core State Standards as well as PARCC and Smarter Balanced, the multi-state consortia working together to develop next-generation K-12 assessments in reading, language arts, and mathematics. The survey was completed with participation from Silverback Learning Solutions (http://www.silverbacklearning.com), a K-12 educator-founded technology and data-management company specializing in data-driven instructional supports for teachers.

“The K-12 industry is at a major inflection point around the use of data; a practical, cost-effective and timely migration towards personalized learning is on the way,” says Ryan Winter, senior vice president of corporate development. “The last few years can be characterized by budgetary challenges and accountability reform around principal & teacher evaluation and the adoption of national Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that have precluded data from being front and center,” he adds.

Additional insight and conclusions from this survey include:

●    Importance of data: 90% of respondents believe that data will be the primary driver of what teachers teach, how they teach, and to whom they teach within the next 4 years (67% in the next 2 years).

●    District-level support: 60% of the respondents believe that district-level support is “not enough” in all areas of data use. Compared to 2 years ago, perception of district-level support has dropped in all areas.

●    Low teacher utilization: only 36% of respondents believe that over 60% of their teachers are actively using data to drive instruction. In our previous survey two years ago, this percentage was 6 points higher (42%).

●    Low teacher proficiency: District level administrators and principals believe that only 16% of teachers are proficient in the use of data and that administrators are approximately 3 times more proficient.

●    Textbook assessments perceived to be lowest utility but highest cost: Only 5% of administrators find program-based tests provided with textbooks to be “very useful.”

●    Great concern for PARCC and Smarter Balanced: Over 30% of respondents expressed “great concern” with respect to taking these new high stakes tests in four categories: computer infrastructure, network and connectivity, analysis of assessments, practice assessment items.

●    Hardware preferences: 65% of the respondents perceive computers, laptops, and netbooks to have a great ROI. Interactive whiteboards (49%), tablets (46%), and clicker response systems (35%) are also perceived as very good investments. Smart/mobile phones and eReaders like Nook and Kindle were voted the least at 12%.

Joshua Powe, co-founder and president of LinkIt!, says, “While many headwinds still exist, we believe that technology and educator momentum is now at our backs and significant changes in public education are underway. We are very optimistic and anticipate significant growth in assessment-driven student performance and teacher productivity over the next five years that will dramatically surpass the accountability outcomes of the last 10 to 15 years since the No Child Left Behind legislation was enacted.”

“We are collaborating together from a holistic consideration of student, parent, teacher and administrative perspectives in order to spur conversation and gain insights that meaningfully contribute to the development of assessment tools and resources combined,” says Dr. Jim Lewis, CEO, Silverback Learning Solutions. “We have a collective mission to modernize and measure every aspect of K-12 education, which in order to succeed will require the very best of everyone’s innovation and collaboration,” he adds.

Sources: The results of this survey are based on a nationwide online questionnaire conducted by LinkIt! between July 2012 and September 2012. The online survey was sent to 11,975 administrators, with a 4.2% response rate or 511 respondents, 51% whom were principals and 49% whom were district administrators, to gain insight into educators’ perception of student performance data. No state represented more than 10% participation in the sampling.

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Stephania Greendyk
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