McREL Leadership Responsibilities through the Lens of Data: The Critical Nine
In the United States, the beginning of the┬á 21st century also ushered in a new era of school accountability and reform with the No Child Left Behind Act [NCLB] (US Department of Education, 2010). Although the law is no longer in effect, the district and school level accountability that it brought remains. The accountability and need for ongoing improvement rest squarely on the shoulders of school principals, many of whom have no skill sets or experience with the use of data to improve student outcomes.
This article utilizes the research studies and findings from the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) lab, in order to examine those leadership responsibilities intertwined with the use of data to improve student achievement. McREL has identified 21 leadership responsibilities that describe the knowledge and skills school leaders need to positively impact student achievement.┬á This analysis focuses on the McREL leadership responsibilities with an effect size of .25 or higher that require a focus on data. The use of hard and soft data to focus improvement is then analyzed and expanded upon through the McREL lens.
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