Using Data to Impact All Students

Posted by Mandy GroenO

Placed in the right hands and at the right time, comprehensive student data can empower educators, legislators, and parents to create learning environments that work for everyone.


There’s no question as to whether data can help educators — but if mishandled, data can also hinder them. That’s why it’s essential for districts to understand precisely what kinds of data will be beneficial to educators, how to strategically organize that data to meet measurable goals, and how to make it available to each of the diverse stakeholders in district-wide student success. Managed properly, educational data can support teachers and administrators as they work with students to meet benchmarks, prepare students for academic and social success, and ensure every student is equipped to navigate life after high school. Misused, however, data can become little more than a tedious addition to a teacher’s workday with no visible application beyond its collection.


Time to Act: Making Data Work for Students, a report prepared by the Data Quality Campaign, emphasizes the need to prepare and distribute tailored, accessible data that serve those closest to students. Citing data-driven success in boosting graduation rates in the state of Georgia and in improving college and career readiness (CCR) in Kentucky, the report’s four key concepts aim to bring the strategic collection of student data to bear on the needs of classroom-, district-, and state-level decision makers.


Identify Areas of Need


The data your district collects should provide educators with critical insights into student behavior and performance that help them identify areas of need for at-risk students. Data can serve as an invaluable tool for districts looking to zero in on the cause of an existing problem or, conversely, understand the broader implications of one student’s academic or behavioral challenges.

When schools, boards of education, and state agencies establish and communicate specific, achievable benchmarks for student success, they’re better positioned to collect relevant data and gain insights into which students are on track and which are in need of extra support. Equipped with actionable data — rather than purely compliance-driven information — Time to Act argues that stakeholders both inside andoutside of the classroom will gain a better understanding of what steps need to be taken to achieve student success.


Provide Timely Access


Even as schools begin collecting the right data, administrators must ensure that educators have access to it in a timely and actionable manner. If educators can’t identify, address, and communicate a student’s challenges to parents and guardians, those stakeholders are poorly equipped to participate in the steps necessary to correct any issues.


By developing policies that simultaneously protect sensitive student data and present it in a broader, actionable context for educators, administrators, legislators, and parents, schools can lay a secure foundation for impactful student-centered initiatives going forward.


Deliver Proper Training for Educators


Whether local administrators or state-wide agencies are using data, its successful implementation relies on well-trained teachers who understand how student performance translates into meaningful, actionable insights. Teachers must have proper training, institutional flexibility, and the full support of administrators to glean clear answers to pedagogical questions and assist students who may be in need additional support.


When using data as an instrument for teacher success and student support — not a tedious requirement mandated by administrators and legislators — classroom communities stand to reap the benefits.


Stress Privacy Through Transparency


to garner trust in data-driven educational initiatives, decision-makers should ensure that communities understand what data is being collected, how it stands to benefit students, and what is being done to protect it. Effective communication between leaders at the classroom, district, and state levels and community members is essential. Not only will this transparency relieve concerns on how student data is collected, but it will invite action from parents and other local stakeholders interested in contributing to student success.


Using the Right Platform to Empower Student Success


As other states look to follow Georgia and Kentucky’s lead, decision-makers should consider how they can best empower educators to collect, understand, and act on student data.


Hoonuit provides educators at every level with comprehensive, well-organized, and most importantly, actionable information that enables them to better facilitate student success. Our solutions work with nearly any other software and technology, ensuring a cohesive view into a school or district’s academic progress toward meaningful improvements in student success.


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