Policy Documents

Promoting Data in the Classroom

Clare McCann and Jennifer Cohen Kabaker –
June 1, 2013
In this extensive report from the New America Foundation, the authors contend that in the past decade, states and school districts have designed new ways to expand and inform teachers’ use of data in K-12 classrooms. The shift is, in part, a function of the growing availability of student data. As a result of federal requirements and state initiatives, states collect more data on students, teachers, and academic environments. Every state maintains a student-level longitudinal data system and many of them report these data points. In short, education is using quantifiable numbers to assess their efforts.This shift for more data is a product of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. In requiring states to publicly report both aggregated and disaggregated data on student demographics and achievement annually, NCLB forced them to develop more sophisticated methods of tracking information. Some states are resisting strict implementation of this data by using it to identify new and novel ways of delivering a top-notch education. Oregon and Delaware are two of such states looking to better train teachers and administrators in how to use data to inform and improve classroom instruction.