School A: We bought xyz math program, and our scores went up 18% compared to last year!
School B: We also bought xyz math program, but our scores went down 2% compared to last.
These same two scenarios can be said if you replace xyz math program with anything…
- PLC norms
- SMART goals
- Collaboration time
- Intervention programs
- New core curriculum
- Hiring instructional coaches
And the list goes on.
The point is, one school will be able to cite results as evidence that their decision was sound. While at the same time, another school will cite opposing evidence of the same decision.
What is it then that connects results and decisions? How do we find evidence of our impact on learning?
Here are a few starting points:
- Knowing the difference between impact and performance.
- Building the capacity of your teams to use AB testing.
- Redefining the results metrics.
- Tracking lead and lag data.
- Couching decisions within a strong mission/vision framework.