Guest Post: A Tool for Accountability and Growth

Kelley Hampton is the Director of Strategic Growth at Equitas Academy in Los Angeles. In this post she describes how Equitas uses Whetstone to drive accountability and growth in their network. There are two questions that we ask regularly at Equitas: “What does being truly data-driven mean?” and, “How do we become accountable to our data in meaningful ways?” The answers to these questions involve believing that data matters, having strong data, and having processes that invite useful analysis of that data.

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We began using Whetstone primarily as a way to document our teacher support and to help instructional staff grow in their practice. Whetstone offered a user-friendly way to capture all action steps, pushes and celebrations through observations, one-on-ones and other rubrics on the site. As our engagement with the database grew, we began to see that there were even more applications Whetstone provided to increase our support of all staff across our network of schools. We focused on building strong processes for supervisor one-on-ones (O3s) across the Network, created goals for O3s, and a process for review and accountability to these goals. Our school leaders and department heads review the on-time completion of O3s regularly.

Now that we have the data and it is available real-time, we are able to ensure that all staff receive consistent and timely feedback. This is one practice driven by our data that helps us answer our questions about what being data driven means and how we are accountable to this data. Strong data and data processes helps us grow as a Network which means we can better support our staff to support our scholars.