Another requirement for teachers sparks controversy

Based on multiple cited studies provided in the brief, the report claims that when teachers have the training and skills needed to make use of data, they are “better positioned to support improved outcomes for students,” by tailoring their teaching, closing achievement gaps, and producing higher student achievement scores on state tests.

“[This] isn’t just about assessments,” says the report. “Assessment literacy and assessment data are not the entire picture of data literacy.”

According to the report, data can be used to monitor attendance, behavior, outcomes, course grades and patterns, interventions, growth, teacher observations, and more.

The report recommends that to make better use of data systems, of which 41 states have dedicated state funding, state policymakers must:

  • Embed the definition of data literacy into teacher policies and guidelines. For the full definition, read the report.
  • Use licensure exams and performance assessments to measure whether educators have needed data literacy skills before entering the classroom.
  • Promote, support, and incentivize quality, ongoing professional development (PD) that is focused on data use to improve instruction.
  • Incorporate evidence of teacher data literacy skills into performance evaluations.

Along with these recommendations, the report notes that it’s equally critical to provide teachers with safe and easy access to data, ensure that the school has effective technical infrastructure (e.g. enough broadband), and that teachers have enough time in the day to review data—a measure the report says must come from school leaders.

For more information on how administrators can support teacher data literacy, read the report.

Noted in the DQC’s annual Data for Action survey, 19 states report that data literacy is a required component of becoming a licensed educator.

(Next page: Putting the cart before the horse)

Meris Stansbury

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