A crucial element in making decisions about education is having accurate data. There is a tremendous need to be able to gather data and use it effectively to guide decisions about education and schooling, including data about behavior and discipline, as well as graduation and dropout.
All tiered models of intervention, particularly Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI), depend on using reliable data to make educational decisions.
School and district wide data provide critical information about how the student body, as a whole, is performing behaviorally and academically. These data guide large-scale decisions that affect the entire school or district.
Individual student data provide information about the performance of a single student. These data guide smaller scale, but equally important, decisions about intervention choices for struggling students, as well as the degree of improvement that is made after an intervention is put into place.
The NU Data Project is a resource that aims to improve educators skills related to high-quality data use by providing narrated PowerPoints, data collection tools, and other materials. This project also offers a four-month professional development intervention designed to strengthen teachers’ competence in collecting and using data to evaluate their students’ learning, behavior, and/or academic engagement.
The Ten Principles to Guide Use of Student Data
Over 30 organizations have worked together to create a list of ten principles that should be used by school officials to protect and guide the use of students' personal information. This article includes the ten principles and supportive information for schools on the topic of school data being utilized to improve teaching and learning.
Requirement for teachers data proficiency sparks controversy
A new policy brief has sparked controversy over whether or not teachers should be required to prove data proficiency as part of their licensure. Proponents say it will ensure student achievement; opponents say it's a premature move based on not-yet-there data systems. The report, "Teacher Data Literacy: It's About Time," produced by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) with support from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), says that state and federal policies have not gone far enough to promote the skills teachers needs to be data literate.