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David T. Nagel

Nagel, Dave

Dave Nagel is an international educational consultant and researcher. His educational career started as a middle school science and high school biology teacher. His administrative experiences involved middle school assistant principal, high school associate principal, and director of extended day and credit-recovery programs. In his former district, Dave was instrumental in implementing power standards and performance assessments. He was honored numerous times as a ‘Senior Choice’ winner, where graduating seniors selected him as someone who dramatically affected their life in a positive way.

His efforts in augmenting and implementing a multi-faceted credit recovery model transformed Ben Davis High School (enrollment 3,400 students in Grades 10-12) from a middle-of-the-road high school in terms of diplomas awarded into a graduation factory. By focusing on differentiated goals for students based on specific proficiency measures for all students, Ben Davis High School was able to move their graduation rate 14% in just over four years.

Dave has been a national and international presenter and consultant working with schools preK-12 since 2003. Using his experience and expertise, he has presented and helped schools implement effective practices leading to gains in student achievement. Dave has worked with preK-12 audiences of all sizes, with audiences as small as 3-4 and keynoted for as many as 1,000.

He previously worked for The Leadership and Learning Center. He has been an author consultant with Corwin since 2013 and is a certified in several key service lines included Visible Learning+.

His main focus areas when working with schools revolve around teacher clarity, assessment and grading, effective feedback that aligns with targeted instruction, leadership, and effective collaboration. He has worked specifically with schools in implementing the following topics: prioritizing standards, common formative assessments, building authentic performance tasks, effective use of scoring guides, professional learning teams, and effective grading practices.

Dave has also done extensive work around helping school teams work on critical aspects of effective collaboration. This has proven to significantly impact student achievement through focusing on intentional adult actions.

Finally, and most pertinent to Dave’s work and his passion, he has done deep level work and implementation related to effective grading practices. He has worked with teams, schools, and entire districts adopting new grading policies and practices: Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools, Tri-Creek Schools (Lowell, Indiana), Lyon County Schools, (Nevada), the Pajaro Unified School District in Watsonville, California, and Lovejoy ISD, near Dallas, Texas. His most recent book is Effective Grading Practices for Secondary Teachers: Practical Strategies to Prevent Failure, Recover Credits, and Increase Standards-Based/Referenced Grading (Corwin, 2015) and has received excellent reviews from numberous practitioners in the field.

Watch the author consulting video: Meet Dave Nagel

Areas of expertise
  • PLCs
  • Implementing the ELA standards
  • Prioritizing standards
  • Common formative assessments
  • Building authentic performance tasks
  • Effective use of scoring guides
  • Professional learning teams
  • Effective grading practices


  • Develop and Understanding and Plan for Implementing the ELA Common Core Standards!: This interactive seminar for both administrators and teachers describes how to create classroom tools and devise/augment plans for successful implementation of CCSS. Participants will leave with an action plan as well as some draft assessment items and tasks that will be targeted to the Common Core Standards and the assessment system their state has adopted (Smarter Balanced or PARCC).
    The Common Formative Assessments 2.0 series of services provide educators with the skills to collaboratively create, with a grade-level or course-level team, unit-based assessments for learning to assess student understanding of the particular learning intentions (standards or outcomes) and success criteria currently in focus within a curricular unit of study.