Evaluation Advice- Collecting data

There are two general types of data: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative is about quality- how good are things at your school? Quantitative is about numbers- what are you going to do with all of the numerical data that exists merely because you are a school?

What topics do you usually want to put on perception surveys?

The WASC website has a manual to guide schools through preparing for a visit. You should download that manual because if you are a California school, things have changed in the last 10 years. In the past WASC gave a long list of ideas you could survey parents and students about, but it seems like they have outsourced this aspect of the self-study process to the California Department of Education who, in turn, is using WestED to help schools collect data. The survey WestED uses is available at their website. While you should not violate copyright laws and use their survey without their permission, you can look at it to get ideas about questions to ask on perception surveys. Perception surveys are surveys where you collect what people's opinions are about what goes on at the school. This is mainly your qualitative data.

What other data do I need?

You need all demographic data that goes in the end of year school report card that is submitted to the state. This includes ethnicities and races of your students and their families, standardized test scores, AYP and API scores, and any quantitative data that your school generates throughout the year.

What other data may be cool to collect?

Have teachers visit other teachers' classrooms and they can fill out a non-judgemental form that keeps track of something going on in the classroom. All schools in CA have teachers going through a BTSA program if they have new teachers. The forms in the BTSA program guides are written to be non-threatening and some may allow teachers to get a glimpse of what it is really like to teach a different subject. Have teachers go outside their department so for example, a science teacher can really see what it is like for students to sit through 45 minutes of math or English. Encourage people to collaborate both within and outside of their departments and have them document what was done, student progress, and what do they think about how well the project worked?

Use this small set of links to move back and forth between the Evaluation Pages

Link to WASC site so you can download the most recent documents from their website.