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Center for Learning Analytics

Center for Learning Analytics

The Center for Learning Analytics (CLA), an initiative of the iZone, and created with a grant from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, provides an evidence based framework for attaining locally defined educational priorities within San Mateo County.  The Center provides services to school districts which help them link priorities to indicators of progress and, in turn, link those indicators to actions across the full range of instructional settings and interactions. While the Center has started this work at the most important relationship - teachers and students (through formative assessment), the CLA will move into other areas over the coming years.

The CLA offers a variety of services:

  • facilitated definition of indicators associated with specific instructional objectives, such as early childhood literacy or attainment of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Language Arts or mathematics
  • technical assistance to help districts implement use of these indicators, including:
  1. action oriented, digital “dashboards” that make it easy for educators and students to make use of these indicators to monitor and guide lesson planning and student intervention
  2. data-driven educator collaboration (best practices) that enable the expedient and coherent use of formative and summative information about student progress that effectively informs pedagogical and programmatic decision-making
  3. informative, decision-making support tools for administrators to monitor progress, make effective allocations of resources, and communicate with larger community of stakeholders, for example through LCAP reports
  • recommendations for item banks, assessment tools, etc. that have been demonstrated to effectively support the gathering and use of data within the target environments
  • integrating indicators across districts within the county to better identify and scale best practices
  • professional development to help educators effectively use the indicators and associated tools and processes that facilitate the use of data to inform individual and collective learning about impact/performance

The Center operates from the following set of core values:

  • A data mindset (actions are driven by data/evidence) is essential
  • We promote the use of empirically verifiable standards of evidence
  • We conduct impartial analyses
  • Transparency
  • We do not “own” the data
  • We do not set educational priorities
  • Data should be used to deliver better services, not for evaluation of staff

The Center has started its work by working on a formative assessment prototyping process during the spring of 2014 in the Jefferson Elementary, Bayshore Elementary, Pacifica Elementary and Jefferson Union High School District. In addition, the CLA will also be convening teacher and administrator data literacy professional development during the spring and summer of 2014:

•Assessment Literacy for Teacher Leaders in the Era of CAASPP and “Big Data” (May 8 [4PM-7PM])

This session is intended for teacher leaders of collaborative teams/learning communities will deepen their understanding of the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (AKA Smarter Balanced Assessments) and how they, along with other more formative tools, can support effective instruction and intervention that produces equitable outcomes with the CA-CCSS. Sessions will also include reminders about effective facilitation skills that can support teacher collaboration with these new sets of data.

•Assessment Literacy for Administrators in the era of CAASPP and "Big Data” (May 15 [8:30-11:30])

This session for site and district administrators will deepen participant understanding of the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and how district and site administrators can leverage these, and other more formative tools, to enact a systemic approach to the use of data to drive programmatic and instructional decision-making. Special attention will be paid to the sharing of strategies for using data to inform intervention with high-priority groups of students.

This day-long institute convened by the Center for Learning Analytics, will deepen district teams’ understanding of a comprehensive system of assessment and data in the era of the Local Control Accountability Plan and the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Assessment. In addition, teams will diagnose strengths and areas for growth in their current work to enact a coherent data and assessment system and make plans for addressing gaps – especially as relates to SBAC formative assessments.