Data Walls: Helpful or Damaging?

Although I believe that Data Driven Instruction is the key to successful teaching, the use of a data wall is a horrible idea. Never should a student be compared with another student, or a teacher's data be compared with another teacher's.
I will never be convinced that using a data wall would ever boost student performance, I believe their effect to be quite the opposite. Even if these walls are hidden in closets and offices, if they are in view of anyone beside the teacher, child, parent, or administrator, confidences have been broken by use of this public humiliation system. 
Rather, use Excel, or whatever spreadsheet you desire to keep that important data. Keep it in your file drawer or on your computer where it belongs. This information is to inform your instruction, not for public scrutiny.

I still remember the data walls of my childhood, placing stickers on the chart as one conquers a skill. Yep! I was that student who had all of their stars. My ice cream scoops for reading books went from floor to ceiling! These visual displays were terrific! What was not to love about it?  Then, I reached 7th grade and met Mrs. Anderson. For some reason (probably had something to do with my older siblings), she hated me from the start. She had a data wall. She used her data wall to record mis-steps, talking, late homework, etc. I finally saw as a 12 year old what my academically struggling peers knew many years before. That wall was horrifying! Each time I sneezed, another check went on that data wall, and soon, my checks outnumbered my peers about 50 to 1. "I will have to make my chart bigger with Kathy in our class." She said one day with a chuckle. I went home that day destroyed! It took me two years before I would try in school again. Data Walls? No way!

To read more check out this article on Conversation Ed.