How to Disaggregate Data: A NEW Microcredential for School and District Leaders

If you are an aspiring administrator, a rookie, or an administrator with plenty of experience, you’ll find important insights, content, and core skills related to disaggregating achievement data.

Get a copy of the flyer.

Learn more!

Know data. Know answers.

Dr. Deborah Wahlstrom

Disaggregation is one of the most important skills needed in using data to improve student achievement. This microcredential, AVAILABLE NOW, has been designed for your learning. Whether you are a rookie administrator or one who’s been educating for some time – there is likely powerful learning for you.

  • PRINCIPALS who want to support staff in modeling and discussing disaggregation of data.
  • SCHOOL LEADERS who want to better understand the process so core content and skills of disaggregation can be taught and reinforced during instructional leadership meetings.
  • DISTRICT STAFF who desire to support those in schools who work with data.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT STAFF who trains others in the use of data.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROVIDERS who want to stay updated with techniques, processes, and analysis for disaggregated data.
  • TEACHERS who desire to build important leadership skills.
  • GRADUATE STUDENTS in educational leadership programs who desire a strong foundation in the disaggregation of data.
  • TECHNOLOGY STAFF in schools who support others in working with data.
  • INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES who desire a strong foundation in disaggregating data.
  • DATA COACHES who want the content, knowledge, and skills for supporting others.
  • DISTRICT ASSESSMENT STAFF who want to better see how disaggregated data is tied to school improvement.
  • TITLE I STAFF who need to guide others in the disaggregation of data required for comprehensive needs assessments and school improvement plans.
  • PROFESSORS AND INSTRUCTORS of educational leadership programs who desire to supplement their knowledge and skill.
  • PROGRAMMERS who desire to know how to correctly work with disaggregated data and how it ties to school improvement.
  • REPORTERS AND WRITERS who desire to better understand the purposes of disaggregation.

Here’s how it works. You take the microcredential which has everything you need to learn to disaggregate successfully. You’ll find source pages filled with valuable content and plenty of practice exercises. You choose what you need to become more expert at disaggregating achievement data.

When you are ready to earn your badge, you’ll disaggregate and analyze the data for three sets of achievement data – all your choice to ensure you work on a product that is useful to you in your school, district, or other settings.

You’ll have a clear performance task and corresponding rubric – and you’ll use both as you work with your three data sets. Once you have successfully performed your tasks, you’ll earn the digital badge for How to Disaggregate Data. More importantly, you’ll have confidence in your knowledge and skills of disaggregating achievement data because you’ve given yourself the opportunity to:

  • Organize achievement data onto a template.
  • Calculate (accurately) disaggregated achievement data.
  • Write analysis statements for the disaggregated data.
  • Determine if the results of the disaggregated data reflect quality.
  • Determine if the results of the disaggregated data reflect equity.
  • Summarize disaggregated data.

There is investment/cost for this microcredential, but it is priced reasonably. For just $99, you receive everything you need to complete your microcredential including Deb Wahlstrom’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment Toolbook (a $45.00 value). The cost also includes scoring and verification of your work and support while you work on your microcredential.

Here are examples of ways you’ll be able to use your data disaggregation skills:

  • Disaggregate all students and subgroup data for your own benchmark assessments.
  • Disaggregate all students and subgroup data for grade-level/content area common assessments.
  • Present disaggregated data in a way that helps others understand the purpose of disaggregation.
  • Include accurate and well-written disaggregated data in Title I evaluations.
  • Include accurate and well-written disaggregated data in comprehensive needs assessments and school improvement plans.
  • Support others as they learn the basics of working with data.
  • Determine whether there is learning for all when reviewing data from charts/tables and graphs.
  • Use data in the correct places of your school improvement plan.

All of this. Just $99.00. Enroll today to get started on your disaggregation journey!

Questions? Email me at:

New Comprehensive Needs Assessment Toolbook

This toolbook is finally done. And I am sure proud of it. For a lot of reasons. First of all, it has just about everything a school team member needs to be successful working with the Comprehensive Needs Assessment process. Second, I developed the entire project in OneNote so you’ll be so organized you won’t know what to do with yourself. (Just pat yourself on the back, because you’ll be looking so durn smart.)

CNA Toolbook Cover

The ground-breaking tool not only has what you need to work through the CNA process, but I’ve also included all of the templates, too. Loads of them. Over 100 in all. Templates for data. Templates for problem-solving. Templates for Root Cause Analysis that you probably have not used before. Templates for name plates, agendas, sign-in sheets, school improvement plans, Smart sheets, and so much more.

And, the templates are so easy to retrieve. They are all right where I talk about them in the toolbook. There’s no going to the back of the toolbook, or another source, or a website – it’s all right there.

How about a quick preview?

Want your own copy? Here’s where to order.

You’ll be amazed at the power of the protocols you’ll have in your hands!








Michigan’s New Reading Law

Get to Know Michigan’s New Reading Law – in this beginning-of-year activity, staff will learn key information related to the new reading law through a custom graphic organizer and a corresponding question set. (This is specific for the 2017-2018 school year.)  I actually had a lot of fun designing the graphic and I hope you’ll enjoy using this with your teachers. You know superintendents want you and your teachers to know this information!


Additional Resources Cited in the Graphic Organizer

New Cut Scores for Michigan’s MEAP and MME

It’s official.  You have likely heard that the new cut scores were coming.  Well they’re here.

When the MDE sent a memo out this week reminding everyone that historical data with the new cut scores attached would be released on Novemember 3, 2011 – I jumped into action.

I’ve put together a few materials that should be useful to you as you get to know your new cut scores.

DOWNLOAD THE 14 PAGE PDF HERE.  And do let me know if there’s anything else you need.

Exit Slips

Exit slips are as tool to check for understanding and get a sense of where your kids are on just about any topic you want.  They are so easy to implement.

I’ve written basic directions and examples for using exit slips in your classroom.

Don’t let this idea slip away!

Click here to download the three-page document for working with exit slips.

Write About Data in Graphs – Elementary

Writing is a tool for thinking and learning.  It doesn’t matter what content area you teach, you’ll find many opportunities to help students think through writing.

This quick overview gives a couple of ideas for having students write about data from a line graph.

Download the overview sheet and examples of having elementary students write about data.

Analysis Questions – Line Graphs

In this pdf, I’ve included examples of analysis questions for two different line graphs.  Both of these are for the elementary level.  For each set of questions, I’ve also included a large size of the graph that you can project and/or give students as they work to answer these questions.

Download the pdf of the Analysis Questions for a Line Graph.

Remember the Success Sequence:  Draw, Talk, Write.  Have the students use the visual and talk about the answers – preferably in a structured way as you call out the question.  Then have students write about the graph.

Analysis Questions – Bar Graphs

One of the simplest things you can do to help students think deeply about visual material is to write analysis questions for the different types of visuals you use with students.  This example is for bar graphs – and I’ve included two examples to give you an idea of how these questions might look.  (I’ll be adding a whole series of analysis questions for different types of visuals, so be sure to check back often and/or subscribe to this blog.)

Overview Sheet – Analysis Questions, Bar Graphs

Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, Band Instrument Choices

Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, 3D Movies

After students talk about the information in the graphs, based on the guiding questions you provide, have them write a summary of what the graph says.  You can make this a short and sweet summary that uses bullet statements or you can have students write a full paragraph.  When you give students a chance to talk about the questions BEFORE having them write, they’ll do a much better job with the summary.

Use the graphs.  Get students talking about the information in the graphs.  Watch them develop deeper understanding because you guided them through deeper thinking of the material.  And as always, don’t forget to add your own good questions.  You may even want to add some here!

Know Data, Know Answers

I want to share a piece I wrote a number of years ago.  I love the rubrics designed by the fine folks at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, but I wanted to unpack the rubrics.  By unpacking the rubrics, I can get to data that allows me  to see the specific parts of the problem-solving process in mathematics for which students need help.  I hope you’ll read the article and add an idea or two to your assessment toolkit.  Download the article here.

Download a copy of Northwest’s Mathematics Problem Solving Grid.