Supporting Effective Data Use (In Focus Brief)

Supporting Effective Data Use (In Focus Brief)

Published: Dec 30, 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Associated Project

Strategic Data Use in Education

Time frame: 2011-2015

Prepared for:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Various authors

Data-driven decision making has been a catchphrase in education for the past decade. Everyone is for it, and who could object? Most agree that decisions from the classroom to the central office and the state education agency should be informed by good data. In practice, however, it is all too easy for data to leave educators and policymakers unmoved—or, worse yet, to drown them in extraneous information, rather than drive decisions that will improve classroom instruction, school performance, and student achievement.

This series of briefs offers recommendations and strategies for state officials, district-level staff, and system developers who seek to promote effective data use by decision makers and educators at any level of the education system. This brief focuses on supporting effective data use. The other two briefs focus on developing a coherent plan for effectively using data and on considerations for developing or enhancing a data system.

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