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Education Data Critical to Teacher Instruction, New Report Shows

The new 2018 Data Quality Campaign (DQC) National Poll report shows teachers value education data and they see it as critical to effective pedagogical strategies that enhance student learning. The findings indicate 95% of teachers say they use a combination of academic and nonacademic information to understand their students’ performance. This information can range from test scores and graduation rates to attendance and classroom behavior. The poll report released on September 12 found teachers and parents trust and rely on education data as a tool to support students.

Partnerships between teachers and parents are also strengthened when student data are available. Eighty-six percent of the teacher respondents say the information helps facilitate communication with parents about their children’s performance because it gives an objective place to start conversations. Ninety-three percent of parents want data so they can help their children do their best.

While 81% of teachers think students benefit when instruction is informed by data, many struggle with putting the data to good use. The poll reveals there are three main barriers teachers face that prevent effective information use in the classroom: lack of time in the school day, too much data, and not having access to it in a timely manner. The majority of teachers would like their school to do a better job of getting information to parents about their students’ progress in the classroom. The DQC report indicates state and district leaders play a pivotal role in ensuring that data are meaningful and accessible for parents and teachers and that teachers have the time and resources they need to effectively use data in the classroom. Although progress has been made in making data readily available, there is more work to do to ensure it is used as a tool to improve student learning.

For more details and to access the full DQC report, visit www.dataqualitycampaign.org.

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE