State data systems ideally would serve many purposes, DQC says, including improving instruction and identifying successful state instructional programs, devising methods to recognize effective teachers and teaching methods, and maintain updated and accurate information about schools’ and students’ progress.
A DQC guide released at the forum lists 10 action steps that states should take to move from collecting data for compliance to using data for improvement. Supporters say the 10 steps will expand the reach of state longitudinal data systems and will build the capacity of all stakeholders to use longitudinal data for effective decision making. The guide, with examples of states that have implemented model efforts, is available at http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/384.
The 10 steps are:
1. Link state K-12 data systems with early learning, postsecondary education, workforce development, social services, and other critical state agency data systems.
2. Create stable, sustained support for robust state longitudinal data systems.
3. Develop governance structures to guide data collection, sharing, and use.
4. Build state data repositories (e.g., data warehouses) that integrate student, staff, financial, and facility data.
5. Implement systems to provide all stakeholders with timely access to the information they need while protecting student privacy.
6. Create progress reports with individual student data that provide information educators, parents, and students can use to improve student performance.
7. Create reports that include longitudinal statistics on school systems and groups of students to guide school, district, and state-level improvement efforts.
8. Develop a purposeful research agenda and collaborate with universities, researchers, and intermediary groups to explore the data for useful information.
9. Implement policies and promote practices, including professional development and credentialing, to ensure that educators know how to access, analyze, and use data appropriately.
10. Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data and ensure that all key stakeholders, including state policy makers, know how to access, analyze, and use the information.
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