Course Information

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It is each student’s responsibility to check with his or her state/district and evaluate and understand any requirements related to the use of individual courses for any purpose.


Using Data to Guide School Improvement™

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Graduate Credit: 3 semester hours

Formats: Print & DVD or Online

Level: Grades K–12

Tuition: $510*

Course #: EDUC-6965T


10 weeks after receipt of coursework

*For Print & DVD format, add $30 fee for Course Study Guide (required)

Designed for principals and school leaders, this course presents a step-by-step process for identifying, collecting, synthesizing, and applying the data essential to school improvement and informed decision making. Using a hands-on approach, you’ll learn how to ask the “right” questions to identify your school’s needs, and collect and analyze data to address those needs. The course covers the various types and sources of data available and the principles and techniques for effectively managing and evaluating data. As a school leader, you’ll learn how to develop a consensus on the factors affecting student performance and enlist stakeholders in data-driven school improvement.

This course requires the use of presentation software such as Microsoft® PowerPoint®.

Teaching Tangibles

  • Create a data collection plan.
  • Analyze data to identify school needs and inform school improvement decisions.
  • Foster a collaborative data collection and analysis process in your school.
  • Present findings in a meaningful way to gain stakeholder buy-in.
  • Use data to drive decision making.

More Information

Download a course fact sheet to share with your supervisor, principal, and other teaching colleagues who may be interested in learning more about Canter graduate courses. The overview includes a description of the course as well as information on:

  • Course topics and outcomes
  • Course assessment criteria
  • System requirements
  • Featured education experts



Linda Darling-Hammond, Ed.D.

Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education.  Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school reform, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994-2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching in the United States. In 2008-09, she headed President Barack Obama’s education policy transition team.

Among Darling-Hammond’s more than 300 publications are The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Teachers College Press, 2010); and Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do (with John Bransford; Jossey-Bass, 2005), winner of the AACTE Pomeroy Award.

Ellen Goldring, Ph.D.

Dr. Goldring is Professor of Education Policy and Leadership in Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. She is also a member of the Task Force on Developing Research to Improve Educational Leadership, cosponsored by the American Educational Research Association, the Laboratory of Student Success, and the University Council for Educational Administration. In addition to more than 60 journal articles and book chapters, she has published two books: Principals of Dynamic Schools: Taking Charge of Change (coauthor, 2000) and School Choice in Urban America: Magnet Schools and the Pursuit of Equity (coauthor, 1999). Her research focuses on understanding school reform that connects families, communities, and schools. She emphasizes the changing role of school leaders in complex community and organizational contexts.

Karen Hawley Miles, Ed.D.

Karen Hawley Miles is executive director and founder of Education Resource Strategies, a nonprofit organization in Boston, Massachusetts, that specializes in strategic planning, organization, and resource allocation in urban public school districts. Her work aims to help states, districts, and schools rethink resource allocation and empower principals to create great schools and redirect resources to promote excellent teaching, individual attention for children, and productive instructional time. Miles has worked intensively with urban districts in Los Angeles, Chicago, Albuquerque, Boston, Baltimore, Providence, Rochester and Cincinnati to deeply analyze and improve their funding systems, school-level resource use, and investment in professional development. She has taught school leaders at Harvard University, in school districts, with New Leaders for New Schools, and with the Broad Institute for School Boards. She has a BA in economics from Yale University and a doctorate in education from Harvard University, specializing in school organization, change, and finance.

Michael J. Schmoker, Ed.D.

Dr. Mike Schmoker is a former administrator, English teacher, and football coach. He has written four books and dozens of articles for educational journals, newspapers, and TIME magazine. His most recent book is RESULTS NOW: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning, which was selected as a finalist for book of the year by the Association of Education Publishers. His previous best-seller, RESULTS: the Key to Continuous School Improvement, is one of the most widely used books by school leaders in the United States. Dr. Schmoker has delivered keynote addresses at dozens of state and national education events and has consulted for school districts and state departments throughout the United States and Canada

The following course materials will be delivered directly to you:

  • Textbook: Leading Schools in a Data-Rich World, by Lorna Earl & Steven Katz; What Works in Schools: Translating Research Into ction, by Robert Marzano; and Using Data to Improve Learning for All by N. Love
  • DVD: Using Data to Guide School Improvement
    (For online format, the DVD is provided as a backup to streaming video online.)

If you order the print & DVD format, you will also receive:

  • Study guide: Using Data to Guide School Improvement ($30 fee)

Required: You must download the Course Information Packet (for print format) from

Academic Policies (for online format) can be found in your online classroom and on


This is a graduate-level course; therefore, you must have a bachelor’s degree or above to enroll and receive credit. 

Earning Graduate Credit

Total coursework for this course is equivalent to a 45 contact-hour course. Graduate credit will be issued when you successfully complete the following course requirements:

• Collaborate with study partner(s) (Print & DVD format only).
• Collaborate with colleagues through discussion boards (Online format only).
• View video segments. 
• Complete required text/journal readings, assignments, and the final paper.

System Requirements
Operating system for PC: Windows Vista®, or Windows® 7 or 8 Operating system for Mac®: OS X 10.7 (Lion) or higher Processor: 2 GHz, 32/64 bit or higher Memory: Minimum 2 GB of RAM; 4 GB or higher recommended
    Microsoft Internet Explorer® 8 or higher
    Google Chrome 27
    Mozilla Firefox® 21
    Mac®: Apple® Safari® 5.1 or higher
Internet connection: Broadband (DSL, cable modem, or similar) required Software: Microsoft Word®, Microsoft PowerPoint®, Adobe® Flash® Player 11.1 or higher (free), Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® version 10.1 or higher (free) Monitor resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels or higher

Note: Read4Credit™ Courses do not require Microsoft Power Point. Some Read4Credit™ courses may require Adobe Flash Player.



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