“We see the Every Student Succeeds Act as an incredible opportunity for states to reset the conversations with districts, communities and families around the use of data in education,” said Aimee Guidera, Data Quality Campaign.

DQC released a policy roadmap today to provide “a set of actions for states to prioritize to take advantage of that opportunity and to build the culture, capacity and conditions to use data for continuous improvement,” added Guidera.

The report helps policymakers and EdLeaders understand that different stakeholders have different data needs. For example, we’ve been running a blog series on the use of leaderboards and public performance monitoring. Aimee notes that “daily progress information is great for feedback to teachers and students, but probably doesn’t belong in an accountability system or on a school report card. The days of one data point, like math and ELA scores being the end point for all data-driven decisions, must go by the wayside.”

In a personalized learning environment “students and their parents, teachers and mentors need different information to collaborate, improve and innovate,” according to the DQC report, which continues, “Now that every state in the nation has a robust longitudinal data system, it is possible for every student in this country to benefit from personalized learning that meets his or her needs.”

The Big Idea: When students, parents, educators and partners have the right information to make decisions, students excel. When information about students is provided in a timely, useful manner, every adult working with a child is able to support that student’s learning more effectively.

DQC Vision Final Blog Pic

The new report, Making Data Work for Students, outlines four policy priorities including:

  • Measure What Matters: Be clear about what students must achieve and have the data to ensure that all students are on track to succeed.
  • Make Data Use Possible: Provide teachers and leaders the flexibility, training and support they need to answer their questions and take action.
  • Be Transparent and Earn Trust: Ensure that every community understands how its schools and students are doing, why data is valuable, and how it is protected and used.
  • Guarantee Access and Protect Privacy: Provide teachers and parents timely information on their students and make sure it is kept safe.

The new policy recommendations build on DQC’s Ten State Actions, but go further in asking states to make sure that parents, teachers, and students have useful data at their fingertips. “Educators and families both need and deserve quality information to support student learning, but have gone too long without it, or have at least seen information only as an accountability tool and not something for continuous improvement,” said Guidera.

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