The Data-Driven School

Collaborating to Improve Student Outcomes

Daniel M. Hyson, Joseph F. Kovaleski, Benjamin Silberglitt, and Jason A. Pedersen

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
A Paperback Original
July 10, 2020
ISBN 9781462543069
Price: $36.00
242 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
July 6, 2020
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $36.00
242 Pages
print + e-book
A Paperback Original + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $72.00 $39.60
242 Pages

This indispensable practitioner's guide helps to build the capacity of school psychologists, administrators, and teachers to use data in collaborative decision making. It presents an applied, step-by-step approach for creating and running effective data teams within a problem-solving framework. The authors describe innovative ways to improve academic and behavioral outcomes at the individual, class, grade, school, and district levels. Applications of readily available technology tools are highlighted. In a large-size format for easy photocopying, the book includes learning activities and helpful reproducible forms. The companion website provides downloadable copies of the reproducible forms as well as Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, and an online-only chapter on characteristics of effective teams.

This title is part of The Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools Series, edited by Sandra M. Chafouleas.

“This book will appeal to practitioners, trainers, and students of school psychology alike.”

NASP Communiqué

“Most schools are data rich and assessment poor. If you work at a school that places reams of data into three-ring binders and leaves them sitting on a shelf, this book is a 'must read.' The book shows how to build a culture of data in a school. It is applicable to most settings and provides an excellent model to analyze data for individual students and entire systems. The emphasis on leadership is unique, refreshing, and important for systems change. The systematic use of data to make better decisions is key to most reform efforts and to improving student learning—this book will make that goal a reality.”

—Matthew K. Burns, PhD, Department of Special Education, University of Missouri–Columbia

The Data-Driven School is an exquisite, timely tool to help educators use data confidently and efficiently—and to ensure that 'data-based decision making' is not just a buzz phrase. I recommend this book to any teacher or practitioner who participates on a problem-solving team. The authors provide practical strategies that educators can start using immediately to overcome common teaming challenges and successfully navigate the data inquiry process. I can't wait to share this book with my colleagues and professional network!”

—Jill Battal, PhD, NCSP, Data and Research Coordinator, Comprehensive Behavioral Health Model, Boston Public Schools

“This is a 'go-to' book for any school district trying to improve collective efficacy around data-based decision making. What makes this book different is its comprehensive approach. The authors align systems-level problem solving, data analysis training, technology, and relationships, and present applications at all levels of the school community—district leadership teams, school improvement teams, grade-level teams, and problem-solving teams. Case studies and a summary of key issues in each chapter provide meaningful, job-embedded professional learning opportunities for educators. I highly recommend this book to school psychologists, school leaders, and teacher leaders who want to foster a culture of improvement based on data.”

—Kimberly Gibbons, PhD, Director, Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, University of Minnesota

Table of Contents


I. The Engine for a Data-Driven School: Systems-Level Problem Solving

1. The Rationale and Context for a Data-Driven School sample

2. Systems-Level Problem Identification

3. Systems-Level Problem Analysis

4. Systems-Level Plan Development, Plan Implementation, and Plan Evaluation

II. The Roadmap for a Data-Driven School: Data-Analysis Teaming across Multiple Levels

5. Data-Driven Problem Solving at the Grade, Classroom, and Student Levels: Initial Considerations

6. Implementing Data Teaming at the School and Grade Level for Academic Skills

7. Implementing Data Teaming at the School and Grade Level for Behavior and Social–Emotional Skills

III. Building the Capacity for a Data-Driven School

8. Data Management Using Technology

9. Developing Data Leaders

Appendix 1. Identifying Gaps in Your Comprehensive Assessment System

Appendix 2. Case Example: Setting Your Own Target Scores

Appendix 3. Data Activity



About the Authors

Daniel M. Hyson, PhD, NCSP, is Assistant Professor in the School Psychology Graduate Program at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. Previously, Dr. Hyson was a school psychologist in Minnesota public schools. He then served as Data Management Coordinator for Hiawatha Valley Education District, a consortium of 13 school districts in southeastern Minnesota. In that role, he consulted with teachers and administrators to help them access, interpret, and use data from academic and behavioral assessments to improve instruction for all students. Dr. Hyson's research interests include teacher–student relationships and their association with student engagement and achievement, and the school psychologist’s role in systems-level consultation and data-driven decision making.

Joseph F. Kovaleski, DEd, NCSP, is Professor Emeritus of Educational and School Psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he was Director of the Doctoral Program in School Psychology from 2003 to 2017. He now consults with school districts and state departments of education. Dr. Kovaleski directed Pennsylvania’s Instructional Support Team Project and served as a university consultant for Pennsylvania’s Multi-Tiered System of Support Initiative. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on response to intervention and data-based decision making, and presents frequently at national and state conferences. He is coauthor (with Jason A. Pedersen) of a chapter on data-analysis teaming in Best Practices in School Psychology, Sixth Edition.

Benjamin Silberglitt, PhD, is Executive Director of Research, Outcomes, and Implementation at Intermediate District 287, a consortium of 11 school districts in the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Minnesota. He has founded, launched, and led the implementation of multiple education technology products since the early 2000s. Dr. Silberglitt is a cofounder of Cedar Labs, a universal data integration platform with statewide implementations in the United States and Australia. He regularly consults with school districts and presents on the effective use of data to support decision making.

Jason A. Pedersen, PhD, NCSP, is a school psychologist in the Derry Township School District in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He has worked with school staff to develop a comprehensive K–12 curriculum to foster and promote resilience, and he previously spearheaded schoolwide positive behavior support, response to intervention (RTI), and multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) initiatives. Dr. Pedersen is coauthor (with Joseph F. Kovaleski) of a chapter on data-analysis teaming in Best Practices in School Psychology, Sixth Edition, as well as several articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has given numerous presentations on MTSS and RTI at the local, state, and national levels, and has consulted with school districts in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Texas.


School psychologists, school and district administrators, and teachers in grades K–12; researchers and graduate students.

Course Use

Will serve as a primary or supplemental text in graduate-level school psychology and education courses on such topics as assessment and data-based decision making, assessment and intervention, systems change, consultation, and educational leadership.