Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Don Jones


A gap in practice at CES Elementary School (pseudonym) was the lack of data driven instructional decision making. This lack has contributed to the problem of low school scores on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). Low STAAR scores have negatively impacted student, teacher, and administrator retention. Data chats were implemented to help overcome the problem and improve practice, but this did not work. Hence, the purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of data chats that occurred within CES’s professional learning communities. The study was conceptually guided by the theory of action. Teachers’ perceptions of data chats were the focus of the research question. A basic qualitative design using interviews of 5 teacher participants was conducted to collect data. Interview data were analyzed using open and axial coding. Analysis revealed teachers perceive the need to participate in data chats, believe data chats have an impact on improving instruction, and they could benefit from more professional development surrounding ways to use data. A 3-day professional development plan was created as a project to meet this need. By understanding teacher perceptions of data chats and creating a professional development plan, this project study has the potential to improve teacher effectiveness of student learning through data driven decision making in CES and similar school districts.