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Report Urges States to Use Education Law to Best Support Learning with Student Data

Report Urges States to Use Education Law to Best Support Learning with Student Data

A new report from the Data Quality Campaign titled The Four Policy Priorities to Make Data Work for Students encourages states to take advantage of the new education legislation to use data to best support student learning.

"The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides a timely opportunity for states to change the culture around data use. ESSA pairs robust data provisions with increased flexibility that opens the door for states to empower families, educators, and citizens with meaningful information and change the focus of data use from one of compliance to one of continuous improvement,” says the DQC’s CEO Aimee Rogstad Guidera in the report.

The report identifies four main policy priorities that it suggest states focus on moving forward.

In order to draft successful data policies, the report says states should:

  • Be clear about “what students must achieve” to measure what matters
  • Train teachers and leaders to make data findings meaningful
  • Make data findings transparent to earn trust from the community
  • Ensure teachers and parents have access to information on students while outside entities do not

By following these guidelines with the help of parents, teachers, leaders and key partners, the report says that students should be able to excel.

"People who need the data— including teachers, principals, and parents—must be involved in the creation of policies for access and use. Data is more likely to be useful and used if those who need it have a say in the information- delivery process."

The report looks at two states that have implemented strong data policies considering all four recommendations and have experienced success. Both Georgia and Kentucky have seen significant improvements in student achievement since adjusting how they respectively handle student data.

Georgia and Kentucky, the report says, "serve as inspiration for making the vision of using data to support student learning a reality in every classroom, district, and state.”

"Building on the past 10 years of progress in using data, states are in a position to prioritize measuring what matters, making data use possible, being transparent and earning trust, and guaranteeing access and protecting privacy.”

Read the full report.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/26/2016

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