Tomorrow, all teachers across our district will attend a day long in-service at their own building focusing on school improvement. Planning and preparing for the day started with looking at all kinds of data. A core group of teachers gathered current state assessment data. And in Michigan, our state assessment is given in the fall so we just received recent, if you call October recent, scores to analyze. Local assessment data was also collected. In addition to numbers, we used what I like to call, our teaching guts. Using our guts was actually quite formative. In my position as a coach, I am a listener, a watcher, but NEVER an evaluator, which is the job of an administrator. Because I am not an evaluator, I was able to watch how students responded to instruction in the classrooms I’m working in. Without judgment, I could attend to teachers as they talked about student progress and what they wondered about. I watched how administrators responded to teacher thinking. Then I rolled all those observations together with all the junk rattling around my brain. The other Title teachers and I were charged with the exciting task of narrowed bits of state data so teachers could quickly see trends and then translate those trends into instructional practice. And somehow make it relevant for teachers of all grade levels and special subject areas. Sounds pretty dull to me. Actually, I’m lying because I love digging into data but I know it is a yawner for lots of teachers. The test results of our student writers will be the focus of what I have to help present. Honestly, our student achievement in writing is nowhere near where it should. And our school is not alone.