Essay Sample on Data-Based Decision Making

Published: 2023-08-15
Essay Sample on Data-Based Decision Making
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Teaching Learning Students Data analysis
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1420 words
12 min read

In many cases, educational models are known to epitomize teaching approaches that are outdated and unreasonable. However, in the current century, educators are continuously acknowledging that the usage of data helps in making informed and instructional decisions that empower teachers, schools, parents, and students. As a result, effective educational leaders utilize data expansively in guiding them to make decisions, set and prioritize goals, and also to monitor progress. Effective schools are mostly defined by continuous analysis of the gaps existing within the goals for the students. Proficient data-based decision-makers comprehend the range of data that is helpful in improving the school. This paper will use the Teacher needs mock assessment data from five new teachers to get professional development topics, and then provide a rationale for the selected topics.

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Observation and Analysis

Based on the data in needs assessment results chart, it is possible to make a few observations about the development needs of the new teachers in grades K (all subjects), 5 (Mathematics), 3 (Language Arts), 4 (Science), and grade 4 in music. Firstly, the data reveal that the new teachers’ area of the greatest need is in classroom management. The response totals for the five teachers recorded the lowest number, which is 9. Going by average, classroom management was rated only 1.8 out of possible 10 in the ranking for the five teachers.

The second area that teachers indicated they required great professional development need is in student assessment, which has a total of 18. The average rating for the five new teachers amounts to 3.6 out of the possible 10 in this area. Still, new teachers find it that they need professional development in other areas like teaching K students, too much test prep for the state test, how to teach writing, how to balance hands-on science and test prep and how to integrate music and other content skills, which had a total response rate of 19, equivalent to 3.8 out of 10.

Still, from the same data, in the above in needs assessment results chart, several areas that new teachers indicate as being proficient can be identified. The results show there is a total of 39 in rating for organization skills as well as communication with colleagues. These figures are the highest and have an equivalent rating of 7.8 out of 10. It is thus imperative that they are proficient in these professional development areas.

Additionally, the student engagement has a total of 38 or 7.6 out of 10; hence they do not need much help in this area. Student motivation is also highly rated with a total of 37, which also indicates that they do not need much professional development in this area. Consequently, the professional development areas that rate above five out of ten are organizational skills, communication with colleagues, student engagement, student motivation, needs of diverse learners, and content knowledge and skills.

The professional development areas rating below an average of 5 from the maximum ten are classroom management, student assessment, how to integrate music and other content skills, and relations with parents. Therefore, out of the ten professional development areas of need in the assessment, four were rated with a total of less than 50%, while six were highly rated with more than 50%. It is thus imperative that the five teachers who were assessed are proficient in six areas of assessment for professional development, but need professional development in four areas that recorded total ranking.

Topics and Rationale

Data-driven decision-making is very crucial for school improvement. The recorded data in this assessment can serve as a catalyst in propelling organizational learning. The above analysis indicates that there are areas which new teachers require professional development. Getting started on the usage of data in making decisions for teaching certainly commences with the Teacher as well as a committed group for school professionals who have an interest in being heedful and intentional on how students are taught and the learning process. Based on the data in the needs assessment results chart, the three topics selected are:

Classroom management

Student assessment and Relations with parents

The topic of classroom management is chosen in this Teacher’s assessment for a number of reasons. Firstly, based on the data recorded in the needs assessment results chart, classroom management has a total rating of only nine which is the lowest. This is an indication that the new teachers who were assessed are not proficient in this area, thus require professional development. Secondly, ranking classroom management with the lowest totals is an indication that the assessed teachers have knowledge that making meaningful connections with their students is a key and effective way of preventing disruptions in the classrooms (Terada, 2019). Therefore, the new teachers could have already witnessed the daunting sight of a classroom that has rowdy students who are not able to focus on the lesson, and thus professional development on classroom management will greatly assist them in their teaching (Terada, 2019).

The topic of student assessment is selected on the basis that it had a total of 18, which is very low, meaning that the new teachers need professional development in this area. Also, the reason why this topic is selected is based on the fact that evaluating student performance is a major critical aspect of being a classroom teacher (Mertler, 2016). Probably, the new teachers feel and believe that the assessment training that they underwent. At the same time, undergraduates failed to prepare them adequately so as to feel content with the decisions they routinely make towards the assessment of the student. Furthermore, these new teachers have limited assessment literacy, thus require professional development in this area. Besides, this topic is selected since it will facilitate in-service training in classroom assessment, which will consequently have a significant impact on the improvement of teachers’ knowledge as well as in the understanding of innumerable concepts and processes that relates to the assessment of the academic performance of the student.

The other selected topic is on relations with parents. Based on the data in the professional need’s assessment results chart, relations with parents were ranked with a total of 21, which has an equivalent value of 4.2 out of 10. The topic is thus selected since there is a justification that the new teachers are not well trained in this area due to the low ranking. Also, it is imperative that since the new teachers seek professional development needs, student’s performance is affected. Positive relationships with parents will make teachers free and thus focus more on the task of teaching children, which will improve performance (American Federation of Teachers, 2020).

Therefore, although the new teachers in this assessment have many areas they seem to be well trained in, as reflected in the data analysis, offering professional development in the three topic areas will have a great impact. Overall, the five teachers will be well equipped with the areas they identified with less than five out of ten in the rating. As they start their teaching career, it will be of great benefit for them to be all round in the three areas addressed.


Data can help to make informed and instructional decisions that empower teachers, schools, parents, and students. Based on the current assessment, the new teachers are well-trained in six areas out of the nine. Still, they require professional development in majorly three major areas, which are classroom management, student assessment, and relations with parents. The data thus help to make decisions that will assist in guiding, setting, and prioritizing goals and also in monitoring the progress of the teachers.


American Federation of Teachers, (2020). Building Parent-Teacher Relationships. Washington, D.C.: American Federation of Teachers., C. A. (2016). Teachers' assessment knowledge and their perceptions of the impact of classroom assessment professional development. Improving schools, 12(2), 101-113., Y. (2019). The Key to Effective Classroom Management.

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