data use

Four essential priorities for making sense of student data

A new report outlines how careful data use and policies can support elevated teaching and learning

Four data policy priorities can help state policymakers take advantage of data provisions in the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) in order to move from data compliance to leveraging data to improve student learning, according to a new report from the Data Quality Campaign (DQC).

The report, Time to Act: Making Data Work for Students, says policymakers at every level should follow the four data policy prescriptions in order: measuring what matters, making data use possible, being transparent and earning trust, and guaranteeing access and protecting privacy.

Specifically, the report provides recommendations to help policymakers transform data from a tool for compliance to one that supports continuous improvement and achieves results, including state and district-based examples of how leaders have effectively used education data.

The recommendations outlined in the report leverage the longitudinal data systems that exist in every state and how the effective use of such data can allow for every student in the country to be provided a personalized learning experience that best fits his or her needs.

Released April 26 at a national summit featuring various politicians and education policy leaders from across the country, DQC’s new report emphasizes that when students, parents, educators and community partners have the right information to make the right decisions, students have the best chance to excel.

“When those closest to students have the right data, at the right time, in the right format, with the training and tools to use it well, students thrive,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, president and CEO of DQC. “Now that we have the information to support every student in the nation, we must act to ensure no student falls off the path to success.”

Next page: How states are putting the policies into action

Laura Ascione

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