Professional Learning

Long Beach aims to bridge the data gap between teaching and learning

Originally posted by eSchool News on September 10, 2015 under the title “District adds data use to teacher training”

Teachers get smart with data in Long Beach

While teacher professional development continues to be scrutinized by research and the media, Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is hoping to get it right with data.

A new video by the Data Quality Campaign shows how using data empowers LBUSD teachers to match their learning needs to the learning needs of students.

“Data informs every decision that we make,” said Christopher Steinhauser, superintendent of Long Beach Unified School District. “Data is not seen as a bad thing here, it’s actually seen as your friend.”

Many critics of teacher professional development recommend moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to a tailored approach meet the different needs of teachers. That’s exactly what LBUSD has done with data.

By embedding student data dashboards within its professional development system, LBUSD’s teacher training evaluates teachers’ needs based on their students’ academic performance data, teachers’ past training, self-evaluations and administrative feedback. Once these needs are assessed, the system helps teachers create a personal learning plan.

As teachers follow the plan, it gives them feedback on their growth by pulling information from student academic performance data, coaching feedback, and observations.

“When teachers are empowered with meaningful data, teaching and learning improves.” said Paige Kowalski, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign.


With the support of Truenorthlogic, LBUSD provides teachers with a personalized professional development system (myPD) needed to better teach and better learn.

“By offering teachers access to data in a way that’s meaningful to them, we’ve been able to bridge the gap between teaching and learning,” said Nader Twal, myPD Administrator.