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Divisions > Academic Policy & Innovation > Programs > Leadership Learning Series
Data-Driven Decision Making

Maryland State Department of Education

Division for Leadership Development


Leadership Learning Series:

Data-Driven Decision Making




Participants will:

1.      Analyze selected school data.

2.      Compare sample processes used to determine root causes and select one to apply to school data. 

3.      Initiate a process for designing school-wide  interventions based on root cause analysis.




The content of Data-Driven Decision Making is based on the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework, Outcome # 6: Using Technology and Multiple Sources of Data to Improve Classroom Instruction.  This workshop focuses on providing participants with an understanding of various sources of data, definitions of root causes versus contributing factors, available processes to drill down to root causes, and interventions to deal with those root causes.




Principals are receiving more data each year, formative and summative.  The sheer amount of data can be overwhelming.  It is vital that the principal has the resources and the skills to analyze the data, to identify root causes for the results, and to identify and implement an appropriate and effective invention to address the root causes.  The process examined in this workshop can help a principal and a team of selected staff to accomplish this.




This session is designed for school teams of 2-3 that include the principal and other members of his/her instructional leadership team.  Based on the principal’s expertise with data analysis, the principal may wish to have an assistant principal serve as his/her designee because this will be an excellent opportunity for an assistant principal and other team member(s) to work together to familiarize themselves with the process of using data to make informed instructional decisions.  Participants will learn how to establish conditions to support the use of data for continuous improvement by creating climates in which data-driven decisions are made in their schools.  They will bring live state achievement data with them from their own schools and analyze those data using a chart provided at the workshop.  In addition, participants learn the basics of root cause analysis, understand a variety of processes that can be used to drill down to root causes, make a selection of one of those processes to drill down to root causes in their specific situations, and engage in a peer review process to evaluate the extent to which they have truly identified root causes.  Participants will then develop appropriate interventions for their school that will deal with root causes identified in today’s workshop.


Contact Information
Joe Freed, Staff Specialist
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0725
Fax:  410-333-3867
Email:  jfreed@msde.state.md.us
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