Leaders are grappling with the unprecedented challenge of working to understand and address the impact of the pandemic on students and communities. To support recovery, decisionmakers at all levels, from state policymakers to parents, must have access to data and use it to effectively address the challenges schools and districts face. But DQC’s 2021 public opinion polling of parents and principals uncovered considerable disconnects that could threaten efforts to use data to address the current moment and beyond.
As leaders turn their attention to the upcoming school year, data continues to be a critical tool for informing recovery efforts. State and local leaders are working together and using data to tackle the most pressing issues, which include:
As advocates, we want data to be used for accountability and transparency, to tell stories, and to inform impactful, equitable policies. But without context, clarity, transparency, the stories data could tell about school, student, and teacher experiences can be lost to misinformation and distrust.
Last week, the Data Quality Campaign released a new resource that breaks down what it means to build trust in data for both those who share it and those who consume it—providing tips to make meaning from the numbers that you see so you can demand clarity, uncover biases, understand how to foster trust in data, and take action armed with full information.
This Consumer’s Guide to Data is an especially great resource for producers of data (such as state or district leaders) and consumers of data (parents, families, or interested community members), but it can also be valuable to advocates who are looking to support good decision making and storytelling at every level.
Download the guide.
Data Quality Campaign (DQC) released an updated version of it Education Data 101: A Briefing Book for Policymakers. With information on everything from student growth data to state longitudinal data systems to teacher data literacy, our resource brings policymakers up to speed on the major data topics they need to know about. As policymakers make decisions to aid students, families, teachers, schools and districts in recovery, Education Data 101 offers the background information they need to make informed decisions.
Parents and teachers have had to deal with unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their demand for data is as strong as ever. The Data Quality Campaign’s (DQC) fifth parent poll and third teacher poll—conducted by The Harris Poll—makes clear that, especially during these uncertain times, parents and teachers value data. DQC’s national polls found that parents overwhelmingly want more information to support student success and teachers want more data on how the COVID-19 crisis has affected student learning—but teachers also want training and resources to use that data effectively. As state leaders pursue efforts to restart school in the fall, state policymakers and school leaders must take action to give parents and teachers the information and resources they need to ensure their students succeed.
“While the pandemic causes uncertainty in and out of schools, we know that parents and teachers want data and need more support to use it to help their students succeed,” said Data Quality Campaign President and CEO Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger. “As state and district leaders prepare for instruction to resume—whether it’s in person, virtual, or a hybrid—they must prioritize getting parents the information they need and ensuring that teachers have both the data they need and the tools to use it. Taking steps toward both of these goals will ensure that those closest to students have the data they need to make decisions that best serve students.”
Parents see the value of data. They want more data to understand the effects of school closures on student learning in their communities and to inform recovery efforts to best meet students’ and families’ evolving needs.