The Center for Public Education has launched a new website, Data-first.org, designed to help school leaders use data and research to improve student learning and school effectiveness. “School board members and others need solid evidence and facts in order to make tough decisions,” said Patte Barth, the center’s director. “The Data First website provides education data, research, and tools to help school leaders make sure their policies will result in higher student achievement.” Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Data First website features interactive polls, videos, and discussions on key education issues, including student achievement, teacher effectiveness, college and workforce readiness, school funding, and more. Local communities also can use the website’s tools to analyze information and proposals that affect schools, teachers, and students. “Data allow school leaders to set priorities, target resources, and monitor results based on evidence, not on hunches,” said Barth. http://www.data-first.org

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Jeff Festa