Issue 6 Stories

Results of the Evidence Based Survey

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Evidence Based Instruction Survey! Evidence Based Instruction is far more prevalent in the current instructional practices than you may be aware. Additionally, evidence based decision making is part of our everyday life and decision making. When you reach for the bottle of water as opposed to a diet soda you are doing so based on evidence of the health benefits of one vs. the other, just like many of the best practices that are implemented in the classroom. Our goal is to identify evidence and research to support practices that make sense for meeting the goal of providing a quality education to all learners! After reviewing the survey data we have provided answers and information related to the results. I hope this is helpful!

Questions and Answers around Evidence Based Instruction

1) What is Evidenced Based Instruction?

Evidence based instruction is an instructional program or strategies which have been tested and have demonstrated success. This means that the research results are reliable and valid. As a result, the research shows there is reasonable evidence to indicate the program or strategies will result in academic gains. (

2) What current programs are we using that are Evidenced Based?

Workshop Model of Instruction, FOSS kits, Fundations, and Inclusive Practices such as Co-Teaching, UDL, PBIS, Flexible Seating, Wilson Reading to name a few! 

3) How do we access data on Testwiz?

Instructions on how to access data on Testwiz can be found here.

4) Teacher’s responses to the “current perception of how CBRSD uses data evidence to impact instruction”: 

Student data informs instruction. Assessment results as well as observational student data assists in gathering information to formulate strategies in both small and whole group settings. Common data sets can be obtained through Study Island, MA ESE Subgroup Achievement Data sets, AIMSweb, and Testwiz.

Where we get the data from

  • MCAS
  • AP
  • Other formative/summative assessments

How we use it

  • It drives curriculum and informs instruction
  • Used as a basis for the Collaborative Inquiry protocol
  • Issues with how we use it:
    - Inconsistency among departments
    - Implementation not followed by analysis
           - CI Protocol is changing this however
    - Sometimes feels forced/overwhelming

5 ) Teacher’s responses to: “What barriers do we face if we want all stakeholders to have important conversations about data and how that data impacts instruction?”

Creating and maintaining an understanding that the first use of data is to inform our approaches to teaching and learning.

6) Resources in response to: Do you have access to appropriate data resources (beyond state assessment data) to make decisions around evidence based instruction?

 Study Island, MA ESE Subgroup Achievement Data sets, AIMSweb, and Testwiz.

Additional Resources Available:
Everyone has to access these databases through the Wahconah Library. There are links on the Wahconah Library website that will take you to the Catalog/Databases page.

There is a lot in the Gale Databases and Gale Power Search including the Britannica Encyclopedia, Digital Commonwealth (historical collections from libraries, museums, and archives across Massachusetts) and searchable, database-style access to The New York Times and The Boston Globe, including archives back to the 1980s, 

There is a standalone link to ERIC (Educational Research Information Center) under the Research Databases category. 

Boston Public Library (BPL) adds additional research databases, as well as Overdrive (audio and digital books), Zinio (latest issues of over 5000 popular magazines, plus older issues of certain titles) and Hoopla (a broad selection of streaming and downloadable media - movies, music, audiobooks, documentaries -- 10 items per calendar month without needing to put anything on hold).

There is a link on the Wahconah Databases page to register for a BPL ecard which you need for most of their resources.

There are several resources for the implementation of evidence based instruction throughout the district including building administrators, content coordinators, and steering committee members. Additionally, evidence based practices can be found in classrooms throughout buildings. The curriculum and assessment folder has several resources that are available for this purpose. 

7) Resources in Response to: Do you have knowledge of how to access, analyze and process data?

CI meetings are intended to process student data in order to design learning strategies in a collaborative format. Colleagues are a viewed as the primary source for sharing resources in this forum. A template is provided to help content alike teams interpret and analyze data for the purpose of improving to or enhancing instruction to meet identified student needs.

8) Resources in response to: What would educators need to know about the evidence based instruction model in order for the model to be successful? What would be the most effective way to communicate this information?

Follow the link to curriculum quarterly. The quarterly is designed for easy access to resources, and provides many links so that you can further explore district teaching and learning goals and initiatives. The workshop model-CBRSD’s primary instructional model K-8, stems from research entitled Cambourne’s Conditions for Learning. This is worthwhile reading to better understand the rationale for this model.

Need for time identified 

We need to know/have...

  • Training on best practices and how to collect/analyze data
    - We understand the “why”
    - We want to learn more about the “what” and “how”
           - Graduate UDL course will be a great opportunity for the what/how
    - Content specific UDL examples
    - See it in action elsewhere (other classrooms, schools, districts, etc.)

9) Teacher Responses to: How is our current schedule designed to support evidence based instruction? How can it be better designed to support evidence based instruction?

Our current schedule allows teachers to meet twice a month for CI meetings. The schedule can improve, specifically the rotating aspect of this year’s schedule to attempt to align common planning times so that all grades can participate in the same content-alike meetings.

High School

  • Current Design
    - Department meetings
    - Prep period
           - Happens in isolation usually
    - Some co-planning time for co-teachers
           - 1 period per 7 days

Better Design

  • More common planning time
    - Possibly cross-departmental time as well
    - More PD time (or release time with sub coverage)
    - Extra contracted hours

10) Research that is relevant for your practice to check out: 

Achievement Gap Research at Harvard: Ron Ferguson


Research on Goal Setting from National Center on UDL


Research on School Improvement Planning


Columbia Teacher’s College Research Articles 


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