Becky’s Blog: “Talk Data to Me” – Featuring Dr. Meghan Velasquez, Guest Blogger

Can We Count On What The Survey Says?

In a recent meeting regarding the 2016/17 ACSS data, a participant asked me, “Why are kids saying these things?”. While she really was onto the million-dollar question, the truth is, we don’t know. In survey work, most of our tools, like the ACSS, are self-reporting instruments. They give us great information that can be used to take meaningful action but are often limited to only reporting frequency and degree of feeling (IE level of agreement/disagreement). These types of tools are not designed to get to why participants report the way they do or what exactly to do about what they are telling us. Instead, that heavy lifting is left to the consumers of the data.
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Data sets like ACSS require teams of passionate, problem-solvers to come around the table to question, disaggregate and digest the data so that they can then investigate further and act. Survey reports are best positioned as a place to start and a place to check in. ACYI recognizes this and is working to infuse The Partnership with training and support for using this data.
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In fact, just a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with teams across School District 27J to learn and apply a process for data analysis to their 2016/17 ACSS data. We worked through basic data triangulation and making more robust meaning out of the ACSS data. I was humbled by their focus on students and willingness to position themselves as learners. For me, the time with their teams regrounded me in what data is really all about; clear information that empowers focused action for improved outcomes.

So, Now What?

As we move forward with improving the ACSS, this is our focus. We are committed to designing a robust tool and process that produces trustworthy data and elevates the voices of all students in Adams County.
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Our Adams County Student Survey Steering Committee is convening for the first of three sessions this week. In this phase of their work, the team will zero in on the key themes that will be measured in the Adams County Student Survey as well as the technological platform for administration of the survey. Using this information, the ACSS will be redesigned to produce data with greater validity and reliability that balances customization with the tremendous value add of consistency and collaboration. We look forward to updating you on our progress as the work of the Steering Committee moves forward and to a new and improved Adams County Student Survey.
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In the meantime, there is a lot that can be done with the valuable information produced by the survey and we invite you to engage with us to explore how you can use the data in your work. Check out details regarding an upcoming session that will help get the ball rolling… READ MORE

Thank you for your time,

– Meghan

About Dr. Meghan Velasquez, ACYI Data Consultant and President of Improvement Assurance…

Dr. Velasquez earned her Ed.D. in Leadership and Supervision from Arizona State University. She holds an M.Ed. in secondary education from Arizona State University and a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Wayne State University.

As a certified Lean practitioner and skilled facilitator, Dr. Velasquez takes a balanced approach to improvement by focusing on both people and systems. She has supported data-proven improvement in outcomes in public education, private sector firms, and not for profit agencies. 

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