School leaders come in many forms - superintendents, principals and other building leaders, department heads, Board of Education members, heads of the Parent Teacher organizations, teachers’ union representatives, state and federal agency heads, and others. As leaders they are expected to make wise, expeditious and knowledgeable decisions. It is not acceptable to speculate and base decisions on qualitative input. Hard data is regarded as elementary to a school leader’s toolbox, and expertise with data is expected. This expectation will only intensify with the advent of social media, increased data accessibility, sophisticated technology and astute consumers of education. Statistics can make data-based decision-making efficient and ultimately support school leaders with the most critical task – accurately interpreting what is discovered. Why not make statistics your most potent tool? Statistics Made Simple for School Leaders: A New Approach for Using Student, Staff and Community Data can help. This book serves as a handbook for school leaders. With this book, they can confidently and successfully execute data-based decisions to the benefit of their schools, students, staff and community.
Susan R. Carroll, PhD, is president of Words & Numbers Research, Inc., a research and evaluation firm that provides strategic information to clients including schools, universities, the US Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation.
David J. Carroll, MSW, is vice president of Words & Numbers Research, Inc. His expertise involves the development of performance indicators for assessing outcomes. He offers demographic data analysis, marketing strategy and execution, and strategic planning to clients in education and other non-profit settings.
Statistics Made Simple for School Leaders is a statistics book unlike others that I’ve encountered. It’s conceptually focused but also mathematically rigorous, explaining in clear, jargon-free language the advantages and limitations of different statistical tests. It doesn’t go into lots of mathematical detail; instead, the authors focus on the logic and conceptual principles at work. I highly recommend this book to any school administrator who wants to make data-informed decisions within their school or district.
3/3/22, CT Insider: This article highlighted the Carrolls’ career and the latest edition of their book.