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Holyoke Superintendent Speaks Out on Data Walls

data walls

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Data Walls have been used in Holyoke since the beginning of this school year.

If you look closely on one of the charts, you can see names are listed next to progress.

“What they say data walls are supposed to do is to create a friendly competition between the students. What we’ve all seen is that’s not what it does. It demoralizes the students, it lowers their self-esteem, because a lot of the students struggle with English, or have a learning disability,” said Gus Morales, teacher at Donahue Elementary.

Morales is fed up with the use of data walls, and the effects he sees them having on students and teachers.

“There are articles that support data walls, but, the people on the front line, who are the teachers, are almost consistently against the data walls. I know that the teachers who are against the data walls, most of them use it because they feel they have to. They’re supposed to use them,” Morales stated.

Morales says that a lot of the confusion is coming from the fact that teachers aren’t sure whether or not are actually mandated. He adds that many were under the impression they had to implement them.

Superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools, Dr. Sergio Paez says they aren’t.

“It’s not a mandate whatsoever. We’ve been doing professional development to look at the data. For the most part, I would say 99 percent of teachers see the benefit of it,” Dr. Paez stated.

Superintendent Paez says it’s okay if teachers need clarification.

“It’s not a contentious point to me if a teacher says they don’t want to use it or don’t know how to use it. Fine. I will be more interested in how they will achieve goals,” added Dr. Paez.

Instructors like Morales just want to make sure it doesn’t hurt his students.

Dr. Paez says he thinks the purpose of the data walls has been misinterpreted, and is happy to explain them further.


  • Paul Nunis

    How is this not a violation of the FERPA privacy law? Saying the parents could have ‘Opted out’ isn’t an excuse, explicit permission is required.

  • lzmllns@aol.com

    “A friendly competition…”?!! Are you kidding me?!! And how dare you blame teachers who weren’t sure of policy nor parents who had a week to sign appropriate papers to not participate. You let this happen…and shame on you for promoting peer pressure..Bullying and eventually inevitably a rise in adolescent and teen mental health issues and I hope to.God not a rise in suicide rates. Shame on you and any school district who should participate in this practice,