Our partners state that help is needed using data and assessments well.


Supporting schools with using the right data at the right time for the right purpose.


MCESA supports LEAs with optimizing their assessment and data sources and data use practices by collaborating with school and district leaders to provide support in these areas:

  Click to open or download  A Closer Look at Data and Assessments

Click to open or download A Closer Look at Data and Assessments

Data Literacy

  • Creating a culture and system that uses data effectively
  • Applying data use skills and knowledge


  • Supporting development or reflection on district assessment plans
  • Supporting development of assessments that are rigorous and aligned

Formative Assessment Practices

  • Developing systematic formative and summative assessments and practices to monitor and drive instruction
  • Implementing everyday formative assessments and practices to monitor and adjust instruction at the classroom level

Learn more about:

Do you question whether you are looking at the right data at the right time for the right purpose?  With abundant resources available, it’s easy to feel like you are drowning in data.  MCESA can help move you towards a more managed and ideal state of data harmony.

Data Literacy Services

Data Wellness Screener: This survey-like tool enables leaders to self-reflect on their personal data literacy, their role as a leader of a data literate system, as well as the overall data literacy of their system. The tool can be downloaded at MCESA’s website for individual use. However, it is recommended that teams of leaders complete the screener collaboratively to maximize the reflective analysis. MCESA facilitates a reflective process at schools or LEA offices for specialized support, or group workshops are offered throughout the year at MCESA. Download here.

PLC Support: One of the most important tasks of a professional learning community is the purposeful analysis of data. However, many PLCs need support with building team leaders, being prepared, developing skills, or increasing knowledge. MCESA can meet with any shape or size of professional learning community to guide data analysis sessions. This could take the form of meeting with groups of teachers to analyze benchmark assessment data or leading a group of leaders in analyzing trends in demographics and attendance.

Formative Initiative Data Analysis: Schools and LEAs are constantly embarking on new initiatives to solve local problems. However, it takes effort and focus to monitor that the initiative is proceeding well and that the desired results are being achieved. Ideally, reflections on progress are data-based and not solely formed by visceral perceptions. With this custom service, MCESA supports LEAs with defining data questions, identifying data sources, collecting data and facilitating analysis. This service is akin to a formative program evaluation to monitor that actions are making the desired impact.

Custom Consultation: Drawing from MCESA’s extensive repertoire of workshops and hands-on support, LEAs can build their own series of custom support to become a system driven by data-based decision-making.


Data Literacy Workshops

Building Data Action Teams: Some LEAs are just getting started with developing a culture of using data to support student learning, and a good starting place is to have a strong data team. This workshop provides LEAs with an understanding of how data teams are important, strategies for nurturing a data culture, and solutions to practical logistics for building effective data teams.

Successful Data Analysis: Having data is only half the battle, knowing what to do with data encompasses a skill set. This workshop focuses on developing a process and a toolkit of strategies for looking at data that is based on best practices and can be applied to any data analysis situation. While only practice data analysis occurs in the workshop, participants will leave ready to apply the strategies to their own settings.

New Initiative Institute: If you are beginning a new initiative and want to be grounded in the needs that are evidenced by data, then this institute is an ideal starting place. The first half of the institute provides support with framing the desired outcome of the initiative and planning the needed data to understand the starting point. Then participants have time to collect and bring the relevant data to the next session. In the second half, support is provided to analyze the data and make the action plans specific to your initiative. This course can be paired with additional courses from the MCESA Leadership Series and/or the MCESA STEM Leadership Series which supplement the data series to support leaders with implementing the initiatives.

Do you have a balanced assessment plan? In addition to state and national assessments, balanced assessment plans necessitate locally-developed assessments that monitor learning with finer precision aligned to local practices. MCESA supports LEAs with ensuring that any locally-developed assessments are aligned to their intended use in both quality and rigor.

Assessment Services

Assessment Review: Creating local assessments involves a significant effort in time and energy. MCESA offers external reviews to lend support to validity claims. In this service, subject matter experts evaluate LEA-created assessments against standards for best practices in assessment development and then provide feedback for improvement. Reviews focus on standards alignment and representation, potential bias, level of rigor, and overall item clarity.

Custom Consultation: Drawing from MCESA’s extensive experience in assessment development, LEAs can build their own combination of custom support to feel confident in having the best possible assessment tools needed for formative or summative assessment.

Assessment Workshops

DOK 3 and Assessment: Depth of Knowledge is an excellent
indicator of the level of rigor of an assessment. This workshop focuses on developing a deep understanding of Depth of Knowledge and how it can be incorporated into a variety of curriculum and assessment practices by teachers or LEAs.

Best Practices in Writing Assessments: It takes concerted effort to craft a quality assessment. In this workshop, participants will learn how to write any type of assessment items that target a range of rigor levels. This workshop is appropriate for all subject areas.

Creating Performance Assessments: Performance assessments require a unique developmental approach to ensure that they target the desired skills being assessed. This workshop focuses on developing manageable tasks and aligned rubrics for assessing what students can do versus what they know.

Using Reports for Data-Driven Instruction: Sometimes PLC groups need to quickly make meaning of assessment data that will soon expire. This quick workshop supports educators with setting an intention and using reports with a simple three-step process.

Item Bank Optimization: Pre-purchased assessment item banks are a wonderful resource to support teachers with developing common formative assessments. This workshop supports teachers with selecting items that align to their assessment intentions or writing and revising items to be more closely aligned to the rigor of the standard.

Assessment Products

Special Area Assessments: MCESA has developed multiple-choice assessments suitable for educator
effectiveness models for select courses in fine arts, physical education and social studies. Each assessment includes a pre-post pair, an assessment blueprint, and a supporting data analysis tool. Contact MCESA for more information.

Performance Assessments for Special Areas: MCESA has performance assessments for 10 courses in fine arts and physical education available for free download here. Each MCESA Performance Assessment is a comprehensive tool to support formative assessment, including diagnosing student capabilities, providing feedback to students on their skill development, or demonstrating progress of student learning.

Are data and assessments used to shape teaching and learning? The range of practices that constitute formative assessment is vast. MCESA supports LEAs in strategies and techniques that target the full range of formative assessment.


PLC Support: A core function of professional learning communities is to analyze whether students are meeting learning targets. MCESA experts work with professional learning communities to guide all stages of formative
assessment. Support includes identifying learning targets, creating common formative assessments, collecting data conveniently, analyzing student work, evaluating results, planning next steps, providing feedback, and creating a PLC culture.

Walk-throughs and Coaching: Leaders often needs support interpreting whether classroom practices exemplify best practices. MCESA supports leaders with side-by-side walk-throughs and assistance with coaching teachers to effective implementation.

Custom Consultation: MCESA is available to support LEAs with a custom-designed series of support at both the teacher and leader level to turn your LEA into a system dedicated to supporting students with learning.


Formative Assessment Foundations: Because formative assessment is so vast, it is worth taking some time to confirm the basic foundations in order to build a richer more comprehensive plan for lasting implementation of classroom formative assessment. This workshop focuses on the basics including defining assessment types and purposes, understanding learning progressions, eliciting evidence, and providing effective feedback.

Best Practices in Formative Assessment for Arizona College and Career Ready Standards: These workshops target formative assessment in English language arts and math. Participants will dig into the different aspects of assessment and the roles these can play in informing classroom instruction and encouraging student growth. Clear connections will be made among best practices in assessment and responsive instruction, and the implementation of the AZCCRS for Mathematics and English Language Arts.