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Part 1: Student Data Inquiry

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The first part of the data inquiry process begins a comprehensive needs assessment which guides teams through four steps to question, investigate, clarify and hypothesize about student data. Educators may focus on a preliminary finding from state assessments, program evaluations, the state report card or a federal notification.

WISExplore recommends selecting an area of focus for inquiry, such as: Literacy, Math/STEM, College/Career Readiness or Student Engagement. The focus for inquiry may be determined by an equity concern, a curriculum review cycle or a district's strategic plan.

Student Data Inquiry Includes Four Steps:

1. Question: Teams ask questions about overall performance, equitable performance, and content detail. They may examine proficiency attainment and academic growth. The Data Inquiry Planning Guide may be used to assist in planning for student data inquiry.

2. Investigate: Teams locate the data that best answers their inquiry questions. Three types of student data may be investigated from local and state sources including: achievement data from strategic assessments, perceptions data, and engagement data.

3. Clarify: After data has been investigated and captured, teams discuss data findings, clarify the data and determine priority outcomes for further action. This is where a long-term goal for student success is developed.

4. Hypothesize: Based on the priority outcome for students, teams pose hypotheses of educator practices to determine likely root causes for results.

Student Data Inquiry Learning Module


This module provides an interactive training focused on inquiry into student data as a part of a comprehensive needs assessment. 

Using WISEdash for Inquiry Overview 

This brief video describes how the WISEdash for Districts tool can be used for multiple purposes in data investigation and school improvement planning. 

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