2014 SDP Convening

Convening Logo

The fourth annual Beyond the Numbers Convening, cohosted by SDP and the National Center for Teacher Effectiveness (NCTE), took place in Boston, MA on April 22–24, 2014. The event brought together representatives from 23 states and Washington D.C. to share lessons learned and best practices connected to human capital and postsecondary success work.
Beyond the Numbers Convening 2014 Agenda (PDF)

Summaries and Resources

Plenary Sessions

Heather Hill

Lessons Learned
While research has generated substantial information regarding the characteristics of effective mathematics teachers and classrooms, scholars have rarely tested multiple aspects of teachers or teaching within a single study. Without testing multiple variables simultaneously, it is difficult to identify specific aspects of mathematics teachers and teaching that may be particularly impactful on student learning, and to understand the degree to which these characteristics are related to one another. This plenary draws on data from a three-year study measuring multiple components of teacher and teaching quality to investigate these issues.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Hunter Gehlbach

Measures for Measure | The Promise of Student Perception Surveys to Improve Diverse School Outcomes
The increased collection of quantitative data on student achievement outcomes has greatly influenced initiatives to ensure that students graduate high school college- and career-ready. However, quantitative data offer limited insight on factors that influence student learning outside the classroom. This plenary draws on the latest research on student perceptions and socio-emotional attitudes that influence academic achievement outcomes and postsecondary success, and includes an example of how Oakland Unified School District is implementing a more holistic accountability system that recognizes the value of socio-emotional indicators of student learning. 
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)


Teacher Evaluation | Lessons Learned and Next Steps to Make a System that Makes a Difference
Many districts and states have experimented with innovative teacher evaluation models that more effectively identify exemplary instructional practice and support teacher development and growth. As teacher evaluation models have become more complex, they have introduced practical, technical, and analytical challenges. This plenary draws on the latest research and a case study of the Tennessee Department of Education to tackle the common challenges associated with implementation of teacher evaluation models at the state level.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Breakout Sessions


Analytics to Inform Early Warning Indicators | The K–12 Pipeline
Early warning indicator (EWI) systems, used to identify students at risk of dropping out or not graduating on time, have traditionally focused on collecting data from high school measures such as attendance, GPA, and high-stakes testing. Education agencies assert that incorporating data from the elementary grades could allow for a deeper understanding of long-term student outcomes. This session highlights EWI systems that are working to collect information throughout the elementary and high school grades, integrate data from a variety of sources, and incorporate measures of additional factors, such as engagement, academics, and behavior.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Darryl Hill

The AP Pipeline | Improving Access to Rigorous High School Coursework
Education agencies are working to close the large gaps of college participation in race and income. Due to the strong relationship between rigorous high school courses and college enrollment, these agencies are examining the patterns of AP and high-level course completion for economically disadvantaged students. This session discusses the current initiatives aimed at improving low-income students’ access to rigorous courses, and ultimately, college enrollment and success. These include recruiting students for higher level courses, testing students to measure AP potential, targeting AP funding to schools with high-achieving students, and providing checklists or roadmaps to guide students on the college track.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Corinne Herlihy

Creating Coherence | Common Core and Teacher Evaluation
Teacher evaluation and support systems are undergoing sweeping changes at the same time that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are being implemented. To accurately and effectively evaluate and support teachers in ways that align with CCSS, these initiatives should be implemented as a coherent effort. This session focuses on the requirements for effectively executing the Common Core. These include breaking down silos between different teams working on implementation of the standards, and connecting instruction, observation, and assessment with the standards and each other.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)


Dashboards to Move Beyond Big Data
The data collected by education agencies to better understand student achievement is growing rapidly and becoming highly complex. Data systems should be accessible to their audiences and should provide insights into areas well aligned with real educational needs. This session focuses on the restructuring of data collection and analysis systems so that staff can utilize relevant data to implement solutions aimed at improving student outcomes.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Atnre Alleyne

Dual Purposing Data to Inform and Improve | Teacher Evaluation Data to Support Professional Learning
Newly restructured teacher evaluation systems provide an abundance of data about teachers’ instructional quality. While the focus of teacher evaluation has largely been on accountability, these new data offer the opportunity to create actionable feedback systems that support professional learning for educators and ultimately improve teaching practice. This session focuses on some of the research and resources available to help practitioners understand the process and necessary conditions to use teacher evaluation to support professional learning.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)


Fast Forwarding Teacher Evaluation | Re-envisioning Classroom Observation and Teacher Feedback Through the Use of Digital Video
Most states have included classroom observations as an important measure of teacher evaluation. Recent large-scale studies using digital video can address challenges associated with scaling up new teacher evaluation models to ensure teacher support. This session covers some of the difficulties with using video-based teacher observation, and follows up with resources that are available to schools and districts to effectively use digital video for teacher evaluation and development. The session highlights the DCPS IMPACT evaluation online training platform as an example of a district using digital video to support teacher evaluation and development.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Nathan Schwartz

Interventions to Impact College Enrollment and Persistence on the Ground
Patterns in college readiness, matriculation, and persistence reveal a need for new interventions to improve college access and success for students. Education agencies are developing initiatives aimed at improving low-income students’ ability to apply to well-matched colleges, make informed enrollment and financial decisions, and successfully complete a degree. This session highlights new interventions that use packets, phone calls, and text messages to provide targeted information to students about college opportunities, application fee waivers, loan forms, and financial aid.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)


Non-Cognitive Student Achievement Outcomes | A Deeper Dive into What We Know and Where the Research will Take Us
Non-cognitive factors, such as socio-emotional and behavioral skills, are strongly linked to student achievement outcomes. As students progress to higher grades, skills like perseverance, social abilities, and strategy receive less focus in the classroom. Data collected from students and teachers that addresses student behavior both during and after school is necessary to provide a holistic view. This session examines the challenges of measuring non-cognitive factors for students and classrooms, as well as incorporating these into accountability systems so that teachers can develop classroom strategies to increase focus on non-cognitive skills.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)


Student Leaning Objectives | Implementation Challenges and Opportunities
Student Learning Objective (SLOs) are used by many states and districts to measure effective classroom instruction and evaluate teachers in non-tested grades and subjects. Implementing SLOs is difficult because the process is relatively new, so it requires dditional professional development, resources, and supports for teachers and administrators.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF) | Prezi Presentation (External Link)


Student Leaning Objectives | Evaluation Challenges and Opportunities
Student Learning Objective (SLOs) are used by many states and districts to measure effective classroom instruction and evaluate teachers in non-tested grades and subjects. This session focuses on how to leverage the evaluation of SLOs to inform their design and improvement, and to promote valid and reliable evaluation systems.
Summary | PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Evidence from Field


Research Poster Presentations
During a gallery walk of poster presentations, convening participants had the opportunity to network and learn about the work that some SDP Fellows are currently leading in their agencies. SDP Fellows, collaborating across agencies, created posters that showcased their work on topics such as postsecondary success, teacher evaluation, and early warning indicators. The posters highlighted research questions, case studies from each agency, preliminary research findings, and next steps for moving their work forward.

Changes to Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Measurement in the Era of Common Core Assessments

How Does Data Management Impact Practitioner Decision Making?

If You Build It, Will They Come? Helping Schools Translate Data Into Action

Leveraging Teacher Effectiveness Data

Postsecondary Success

Student Success & College Readiness: Translating Predictive Analytics into Action

Using Data to Shape the Senior Leadership of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD)