Policy | Research

Report: More States Are Using Data Systems To Help Improve Student Achievement

An increasing number of states are collecting and analyzing student data effectively for the purpose of improving student achievement, according to a report from the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) released this week.

The report, "Data for Action 2013," details the DQC's annual state-by-state analysis of how education data systems are being used, based on the organization's list of "10 State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use." The DQC invites each state's governor's office to participate in the survey, and this year all state governors, except the governor of California, took part.

According to the report, this is the first year that any states have achieved all 10 state actions, and both Arkansas and Delaware achieved that milestone this year. Fourteen other states (plus the District of Columbia) are nearing that goal and have achieved at least eight of the state actions. Those states are the Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, and North Dakota each increased their number of state actions by three or more this year. According to the report, these numbers indicate that many states are doing a better job of collecting and analyzing student data, and consequently are becoming better equipped to work toward the ultimate goal of improving student achievement.

Other key findings from the report:

  • An increasing number of states are providing policy and funding support for their data systems;
  • 43 states are developing data governance structures;
  • 46 states are creating publicly available reports on school systems and groups of students;
  • 19 states have linked K-12 education data with workforce data to determine if their K-12 students have been adequately prepared for the workforce;
  • Only nine states provide parents, teachers, and other stakeholders with timely, role-based access to student data; and
  • Only 12 states have implemented policies and practices, such as professional development and
    licensing, to ensure that educators know how to use data appropriately.

The full report, "Data for Action 2013," is available as a free PDF download from dataqualitycampaign.org.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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