Data Analysis and Support Academy (DASA)

Data Analysis and Support Academy (DASA) builds greater school accountability by enhancing educators’ understanding of how to use data when making instructional decisions for English learner (EL) students. The U.S. Department of Education, through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has a core goal that underscores the importance of understanding and using data:

To enable parents and other stakeholders to engage meaningfully in their local education systems, they need to have access to clear, robust, and ongoing information about how their students and schools are doing. (US DOE 2017) 

DASA assists schools in achieving this ESSA goal, continuing educational improvement and meeting the needs of Pennsylvania’s diverse students, schools and communities. Designed to help schools use their ACCESS data to improve classroom instruction and educational outcomes related to student achievement, DASA works with you and your school to improve EL student achievement in customized ways.

Specifically, DASA provides participants with an intensive and guided approach to making the best and appropriate use of ACCESS test data and other related outcomes data. DASA is a three-year program. In the first year, participants will attend a kick-off event to learn about ACCESS in detail. Later in the year and following related training, participants will design improvement plans based on their analysis of ACCESS data. Staff from PDE and the Center for Schools and Communities (CSC) will work closely with participants to ensure analysis and improvement planning are completed according to WIDA’s analytic protocol and PDE’s requirements. Near the end of the first school year, participants will learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of their improvement plan. In years two and three, participants are expected to continue their analysis of their ACCESS data and repeat the improvement planning and evaluation process.

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DASA participants will be able to:

  1. Use ACCESS data in program evaluation and improvement efforts
  2. Design and implement a program improvement plan.
  3. Measure the relationship between an LEAs improvement plan and student outcomes. 
  4. Adjust the improvement plan over time as part of a continuous improvement cycle based on results of an evaluation

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School teams form a yearlong supportive partnership with Center for Schools and Communities staff to identify and study a key issue related to student achievement.

Through a series of quarterly webinars, web meetings, conference calls and onsite visits, staff from the Center guide teams through their DASA project. The academy begins with a two-day kickoff event that orients team members to proper use of ACCESS data, creating improvement plans, and the data-driven evaluation process. Participants commit approximately four to five hours a month toward their school-based DASA project. Fourteen credit hours for Act 48 will be awarded to participants who complete all DASA components.

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Two-day Kick-off (early fall):
• The ACCESS test
• How to interpret/understand ACCESS data
• Basics of using data for ELs
• Using WIDA growth percentile charts
• The EL indicator in the state accountability system
• Improvement Plans
• How to manipulate data

Webinar 1:
• Developing and implementing a program improvement plan
• Design your school’s/district’s program improvement plan based on a template provided
• Schedule on-site visit from DASA team and present the plan and rationale in-person

Webinar 2:
• How to use data for program evaluation
• How to document program evaluation

Webinar 3:
• How to make decisions about program changes based on data
• How to design interim measures of effectiveness and goals for program changes

On-site visits:
• Review plan and rationale
• Provide feedback and suggestions

Follow-up support in years two and three:
• Three to four web meetings available to participants to review progress and ask questions/request additional support
• Ad hoc support available upon request as available throughout the year
• Participants share updates on ACCESS analysis and evaluation efforts

School Team

Schools are asked to form a project team comprised of four to six school building faculty as part of the DASA application. Each team should receive application approval from their school building principal/administrator. Ideally, teams should include an administrator.

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Cost and Application

Schools must complete a short application to be considered for the limited school openings. Teams are chosen annually to participate in DASA.

A new application process will begin in spring 2020. Stay tuned for details.

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