This week several DQC staffers will be headed to the STATS-DC DATA Conference in Washington, DC. They will be talking on topics including the value of education data, student data privacy, effective data use, and public reporting of education data.
Safeguarding Student Privacy: Key Legislative, Technical, and Communication Strategies for States
DQC Presenter: Rachel Anderson |Room Wilson A | 10:15–11:15 a.m.
Rachel will moderate a discussion by Colorado Chief Information Officer Dan Domagala and Director of the Arkansas Research Center Neal Gibson about their states’ strategies for safeguarding privacy and highlight lessons learned for other states.
Overcoming the Barriers to Effective Data Use
DQC Presenter: Elizabeth Dabney| Thurgood Marshall Ballroom | 1:45–2:45 p.m.
We know that a data-literate teacher can access, interpret, act on, and communicate multiple types of data—but it’s those multiple types of data that often trip us up when we talk about teacher data use. What else is there besides data from tests? And if we’re really just talking about data from assessments, aren’t we talking about assessment literacy and not data literacy? It’s a big question, so we decided to host a webinar and have some experts walk us through it.
Joining me on the webinar were Stuart Kahl of Measure Progress, representing the assessment literacy side of the debate, Ellen Mandinach of WestEd representing the data literacy side of the debate, and DQC’s teacher fellow, Raquel Maya Carson, bringing it all back to the realities of the classroom.
Here is my biggest takeaway: though there certainly is some conflation between what assessment literacy is and what data literacy is, there really isn’t actually much of a debate to be had. It is critical that teachers have both skill sets, and panelists agreed that assessment literacy probably gets subsumed into data literacy, though some things—like assessment design and choosing student- and classroom-appropriate questions—live outside of the imaginary Venn diagram where the two overlap. For the most part, data literacy encompasses much more data than assessments, like attendance and growth, as well as an understanding that there are data beyond assessment. However, tests and quizzes, formative and summative assessments still make up a tremendous amount of the quality information available to teachers. Therefore, being data literate also means you’ve covered a lot of assessment literacy as well.
Another key point comes via our fantastic teacher fellow. Raquel talked a lot about collaboration and leadership. It is wonderful for teachers to know how to be data literate, but that only goes so far without a school culture that prioritizes data use and gives teachers the time and support to talk about data with their colleagues. Data use cannot only be about accountability, like teacher evaluation. It really has to be about student-centered improvement.
Ultimately, whether we’re talking about assessment or data literacy, all agreed that there is more to be done, especially through preservice teacher training to prepare teachers to use all types of data. To have more schools like Raquel’s, training is a critical step.
For more about teacher data literacy, check out our resource here!