Activity Directions: Examine Current Instruction

Purpose: To make decisions about what data will be gathered to use for examining current instructional practices, the sources that will be used to collect the data, and the plan for completing the work.


60 minutes or more


1. Schedule the leadership team and others to participate in this activity.

2. Ensure the Data Sources in a Standards-based Education System resource and Planning Chart is available for all participants.

3. Gather possible data collection tools or specific items to include on tools that will be used to collect data about current instructional practices.


1. Have the team review the list of possible data sources in this Planning Chart. For each source listed:

a. Note the rationale(s) for using this source. What information could it provide about current instructional practices?

b. If the source is currently collected and available, or it exists but isn’t currently collected, place an “x” in the appropriate column to indicate it’s availability.

2. Review the sources and rationales identified. Have the team discuss and note any gaps that exist in what currently available sources will tell the team about current instruction. Consider the following possible questions to reflect on what is needed:

a. How well do these data sources provide information about current instructional practices and their effectiveness?

b. What additional information do we need?

3. Based on the discussion of gaps in the available information about current instructional practices, prioritize any sources and related tools that need to be developed in order to provide that information. Build the development of these data tools into your working action plan.

a. Note: Depending on where your team and organization are on the journey of continuous improvement of instruction and curriculum, some data regarding current instruction may not yet be collected and available. In this case, do what you can with the data you have, and as your standards-based education data system becomes more robust, the activity can be repeated.

4. Extension: To use this thinking to build a full plan for ongoing data collection and use for continuous improvement of instruction and curriculum, complete Action 2, Activity Directions: Planning for a Decision-Support Data System.