This webinar—the first in a two-part series—examines how to use data effectively in the rural school setting for continuous improvement at the school, classroom, and student levels.

School and district personnel, especially from rural schools, but all are welcome to attend

Jackie Burniske
Dissemination Director
REL Southwest, SEDL

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PowerPoint | Transcript

Main Presentation

PowerPoint | Transcript

Q&A Session


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Video Clips

Handouts and Resources

View the archived resources for Part II of this series.


What is a data literate culture, and what does it look like in everyday practice for educators? What does research tell us about best practices in data use, and which practices are best for rural schools and districts?

This webinar explores how to foster a culture of data use at the school, classroom, and student levels, with a focus on the rural school setting. Presenters Ellen Mandinach, Ph.D., and Diana Nunnaley share their extensive expertise as they explain the systemic nature of implementing and embedding data use in day-to-day practice. Participants will learn about practices and tools to help schools and teachers gauge their current level of data use, understand what they can learn from data, apply data effectively, and ensure the components neccesary to support data use, including leadership, vision, technology, professional development, and data coaches and teams.


  • Understand key aspects of effective data use based on research and best practice evidence
  • Gain familiarity with benefits and opportunities of effective data use as well as challenges and strategies for addressing them
  • Begin to develop a culture of effective and responsible data use in your local context


Ellen Mandinach, PhD

Ellen Mandinach, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist

Ellen B. Mandinach, Ph.D., is a senior research scientist and the director of the Data For Decisions Initiative at WestEd. Dr. Mandinach is one of the nation's foremost experts in education data-driven decisionmaking. She has spent more than a decade examining how data are used at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. She has directed a number of projects that examine effective data use, most recently defining data literacy for teachers, determining how schools are building capacity for educators to use data, and developing instruments to measure teachers' data literacy. She has published widely, including two books on data-driven decisionmaking (Data-Driven School Improvement: Linking Data and Learning and Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Data-Driven Decision Making) with a third book on data literacy forthcoming. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Stanford University.

Diana Nunnaley

Diana Nunnaley
TERC’s Using Data Initiative

Diana Nunnaley is director and senior facilitator for the Using Data Initiative at TERC and has 30 years of experience providing professional development and technical assistance to school administrators and leaders working to improve schools. At the heart of her work is a deep, underlying belief in the power of teachers to have a dramatic impact on their students' achievement—when the right supports are in place. Her work has focused on designing materials and activities to help school leaders and teachers develop the supports, techniques, and skills needed to transform schools into cultures of continuous learning. During the past 14 years, she has focused on teaching school leaders how to use data effectively to inform decisions, monitor the impact of changes in teaching practices, and assess the quality of teaching and learning through collaborative analysis of data by teachers, curriculum specialists, and other leaders.

Related Resources

The following peer-reviewed articles and publications provide the basis for the presentations.

Institute of Education Sciences (IES) practice guide:

Publications and peer-reviewed articles: