Top-level support for longitudinal data systems and policies has helped states make progress on recommended data actions.
By Kittugwiki (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
An annual report highlights the progress states are making when it comes to making decisions with education data.
Data for Action 2014 measures states against 10 actions that the Data Quality Campaign recommends to improve student learning with data. This year, Kentucky became the third state to complete all of the actions, joining Arkansas and Delaware from last year.
Every year, the data governance board in Kentucky tackles the actions it didn't take the previous year.
"Really it was just focused effort on our part to make sure that all of these pieces were able to come together this year," said Kate Akers, deputy executive director of the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics.
The sustained leadership and inter-agency collaboration in Kentucky have helped the state take its data game to the next level over the last number of years, said Aimee Guidera, executive director of the Data Quality Campaign.
Overall, governor's offices in 46 states and the District of Columbia participated in the survey this year, with 17 states completing eight or nine of the actions. California, New Jersey, Oregon and South Dakota opted not to take the survey this time around.
Over the past three years, states have grown the most in providing consistent support for longitudinal data systems (action 2) and in helping teachers and school leaders learn how to access data, use it and integrate it into their instructional practice (action 9).
"What this means is that states are finding value in their data systems, and they're putting their money where their mouth is and where the value is," Guidera said, adding that if educators don't know how to effectively tap into the learning data that they have, then the states' efforts are for naught, she said.
States have been able to move forward with action 9 because more of them are sharing teacher performance data with in-state educator prep programs and requiring preservice teachers to meet data literacy standards.
While a few actions -- 5 and 9 -- have proven particularly tough for states because they require major culture changes, actions 4 and 7 have almost every state's support. Alabama is the only one left in the survey to finish action 4, which involves building state data repositories. And just Mississippi and New York have to finish action 7, which asks states to create reports that include longitudinal statistics that can be used to make changes at the system level.
The table below shows the progress states have made on these 10 actions over the last three years.
|State Actions||Number of States|
|1. Link state K-12 data systems with early learning, postsecondary, workforce, and other critical state agency data systems||11||19|
|2. Create stable, sustainable support for longitudinal data systems||27||41|
|3. Develop governance structures to guide data collection and use||36||42|
|4. Build state data repositories||44||46|
|5. Provide timely, role-based access to data||2||11|
|6. Create progress reports with student-level data for educators, students and parents||29||35|
|7. Create reports with longitudinal statistics to guide system-level change||36||45|
|8. Develop a purposeful research agenda||31||41|
|9. Implement policies and promote practices to build educators' capacity to use data||3||18|
|10. Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data||23||33|
This story was originally published by the Center for Digital Education.