Allison Leleua: Learn something new every day
Allison Leleua has a new job this school year. She is now Coordinator for Data and Assessment where she has an ambitious goal to pursue. After 11 years at Los Arboles Middle School (aka, LAMS) she is excited to address a critically important challenge: making student performance data accessible, relevant and meaningful so that, students, parents, and school communities can monitor progress and improve student learning.
Allison is excited to take on this work because, as she puts it, "We need better access to accurate and timely data because we want everyone to improve and to do better. Without good data it is difficult to see what’s working and what’s not, and we need to know what different students need in order to help each of them to succeed." She sees her work as critical for the district’s number one goal of improving student performance over all and closing gaps for struggling students.
Her commitment to MPUSD spans 11 years over which she has served as a classroom aide, a long-term sub, an interim teacher, a full-time teacher, an academic coach and an assistant principal. She even attended LAMS as a student. Did she plan this gradual rise to a leadership role across the district? “Not really,” she says. “I just kept looking for what needed to get done.” In doing that she became an evangelist for using data to make better decisions.”
Allison resonates with MPUSD's five values, especially learn something new every day. As an example she has learned how to work more effectively with her colleagues. “I’ve learned to work constructively and collaboratively with teachers, especially when the data bring news they didn’t want or expect. They help us answer our questions about effectiveness — will someone be reclassified or not? Why are students taking this particular test?”
When asked if she connects with another value she says “if you take one out, their message isn’t as strong." She pauses for a moment and continues, “I like all, but every person matters – school, staff, parent, student – everyone matters allows us to get further along than we have been." Her former principal Rebecca Tyson inspires her in this regard.
As to Allison's hopes for the immediate future in her new job and for MPUSD as a whole system, she says, “My biggest hope is that we develop a culture of using evidence to ground ourselves in making decisions. Demystifying the use of evidence is not that hard. I encourage people not to feel overwhelmed by all the numbers. Just look at what the numbers really mean for teachers and students. We need to start with the simple but important things, and build our capacity so that everyone becomes a data user in their day to day work.”