P-20 Task Force Goal 4: Conduct basic and applied research and assessment into the science of teaching and on education policy issues.

Data for School Innovation

Description and Action Steps

School district partners will collaborate with NIU educators and researchers in using student performance data to develop research-based innovations that successfully raise student achievement and meet new federal mandates for individualized interventions.

  1. Web-based data warehouse: DSI staff is developing a comprehensive, integrated assessment data system with easy-to-use interface for school teachers and administrators. A customized data warehouse for each district partner will reside within the system.
  2. Data-driven classroom interventions: NIU faculty members will work directly with school personnel to analyze student performance data and create classroom activities that will raise student achievement in areas of unacceptable performance. Two NIU faculty members on summer salaries will work directly with districts in professional development activities to pilot new relationships and processes.
  3. Annual report card: DSI will publish an annual school report focused on improvement of partner schools within a specific context. (2010)

Milestones and Outcomes

DSI formed partnerships with seven school districts; created customized, assessment data warehouses and interfaces for each partner; and began working with districts to develop classroom interventions driven by assessment data.

The project expects to demonstrate ways that data-driven classroom activities improve student learning.

NIU Student Engagement

Student workers are involved in development of the data warehouses. Graduate students assist in development of classroom interventions and assessments to gauge results.


Harvey Smith
Steve Wallace
Christine Malecki
Programming staff
A&UO: Brian Walk

School District Partners

  • Aurora East
  • Bloomington
  • DeKalb
  • Dolton
  • Joliet
  • Quincy
  • Rockford

Staff Support: Marilyn Bellert, Paulette Bowman

Contact: Harvey Smith
(hsmith@niu.edu or 815-753-9680)