Using Parallel Surveys and Reflective Conversations to Tap Perspectives and Promote Improvement

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This article focuses on how principals can use parallel surveys that tap multiple perspectives to identify improvement needs, priorities, and the relevance and effectiveness of actions and strategies implemented, and ultimately use this data to support ongoing improvement. We explore the use of survey data that couples principals’ self-assessment of their practice with teachers’ assessment of those practices, and the value of reports that reconcile the data from these items along with a formal conversation with principals to facilitate reflective use of data. We conclude with recommendations for how to develop school surveys, how to report survey data, and how to facilitate reflective practice and school improvement actions.