I have written and shared a lot about the perils of being “data-driven” as opposed to being “data-informed” (see The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven”).
I have just witnessed what appears to be an excellent example of how being “data-driven” can lead to bad results.
Our district has announced they would not renew their subscription to Brainpop.
I’m not a huge fan of Brainpop ELL, but their Brainpop, Brainpop, Jr., and Brainpop Espanol are incredibly helpful to English Language Learners in content classes.
From the information that they have given (which is scant, and I haven’t received any direct response to an email I sent), it sounds like they primarily looked at its usage rate and decided it wasn’t high enough.
This is an example of being data-driven.
A “data-informed” process would have meant that, before they canceled it, they would have contacted users to learn how they were using Brainpop to see what they were doing. Then, perhaps, consider if how those of us who were using Brainpop was resulting in such a great benefit for students that a push should be made to share those experiences with others with the goal to increase Brainpop usage.
This process might, or might not, have resulted in a different decision. But, either way, it would have been an inclusionary process that respected teacher voice.
In this case, as far as I can tell, classroom teachers were not involved at all. No one at our school was even consulted, and we were the ones who arranged for the district to get a reduced subscription rate from Brainpop!