Are data systems worth the risk/cost?

National Journal asked “are state data systems worth the risk?”
The terminal outcomes of K-12 aren’t only test scores and graduation rates, they should include college completion and employment.  We can’t really measure K-12 effectiveness without the ability to know where high school leavers/graduates go.

Our college dropout rate is even worse than our high school drop out rate.  We won’t be able to help students make better post secondary choices or hold higher education accountable for bad completion rates without the data.
Florida’s experience seems to indicate that we can add this important information without comprimising privacy.
RttT will result in about 20 states implementing robust K-12 with some visibility into post secondary and employment.  This will prove to be vital improvement infrastructure in the decade to come.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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