Data are more than just test scores, and by effectively accessing and using different types of data, teachers, parents, and school and district leaders can help ensure that every student is on a path for success every day, not just at the end of the school year.
- In addition to the current student performance data that teachers provide to parents, parents in 17 states (up from 8 in 2011) have access to data that follow their children’s progress over time, helping these parents make critical decisions to support their children’s paths to success.
- In 2014 many states sought to safeguard student data privacy by introducing legislation. In total, 36 states considered 110 bills directly addressing student data privacy.
- High-quality public reporting of education data is trustworthy; focused on meeting people’s information needs; timely and ongoing; and easy to find, access, and understand. Seven states provide high-quality public reporting that meets the information needs of parents.
This year, another state—Kentucky—joins the ranks of those that have achieved all 10 State Actions. Every state has built robust statewide longitudinal data systems that collect quality data beyond test scores, and they are doing more and more to support effective data use.
- Kentucky is the newest state to achieve all 10 State Actions, joining Arkansas and Delaware. Kentucky’s focus on providing teachers, families, and the public with useful data that meet their needs propelled the state from having 2 Actions in 2011 to all 10 Actions in 2014.
- The number of states sharing information about how teachers perform in the classroom with educator preparation programs has more than tripled from 2011 to 2014 (from 6 states in 2011 to 22 states in 2014).
- Seventeen states have eight or nine Actions (CO, GA, KS, MA, and UT join DC, FL, IN, ME, MD, MI, OH, RI, TN, TX, VA, and WI). States are working to maintain the gains they have made in recent years to ensure effective data use.
What You Can Do About It
States must transform from being compliance focused to meeting people’s needs through data:
- Teachers need data about how their students perform to tailor instruction to meet students’ individual needs.
- Parents need data to understand their child’s strengths and areas where he or she can improve and to choose the best educational environment for their child.
- School and district administrators need data to find out which educational programs are working to increase student achievement and which are not.
- State and federal policymakers need information about academic performance and workforce needs to make decisions about setting policy and allocating resources.