Happy Thanksgiving!In honor of the holiday, some of DQC's staff shared what they are thankful for this year.
Aimee Rogstad Guidera, Executive Director
I’m grateful for 10 years watching the astonishing progress states have made building their education data systems and using those data to help students achieve at higher levels. Everything we do is in support of the amazing educators in states, districts, and schools fighting to give all students a world-class education, no matter where they live. We’re seeing more and more states working to get timely, useful information into the hands of families, and that’s something I’m thankful for as an education advocate and as a mother.
Dakarai Aarons, Director, Communications and External Affairs
I am thankful for all the actions educators and policymakers have taken this year to prioritize safeguarding student data.
Rachel Anderson, Associate, Policy Analysis and Research
This year I’m thankful for the dedicated parents, educators, students, advocates, and policymakers who shared their experiences, opinions, ideas, and concerns with us. Everything we do is in service of supporting and empowering students, and hearing from everyone with a stake in this work is so valuable and appreciated!
Elizabeth Dabney, Associate Director, Policy Analysis and Research
I am thankful for wonderful state leaders, like Chris Woolard in Ohio, who are taking the lead on effectively using data to meet the information needs of families and communities and who generously share their time and advice with other state leaders so they can do the same.
Yasmin Fallahkhair, Research Coordinator
I am thankful to work with people who refuse to give up on kids struggling in school. And I am thankful to work in an organization that aims to help students achieve their full potential through academic achievement and learning.
Roxana Galan, Director, Finance and Operations
I am very thankful to be part of an organization that is helping to change the lives of all students through the effective use of data.
Taryn Hochleitner, Manger, External Affairs
I am thankful for educators, schools, districts, states, and other organizations doing their part to make useful, clear information available to families to help them make decisions about their child’s education.
Chris Kingsley, Associate Director, Local Policy and Advocacy
I’m grateful that we have such a large and growing family of friends in districts and communities willing to lend their brains, enthusiasm, and stories to our work.
Paige Kowalski, Director, State Policy and Advocacy
This year my family had to make a school choice decision for my rising fifth-grader. I am especially thankful that states and districts have stepped up their game and are providing rich information about their public (both traditional and charter) schools so that parents like me are empowered to make the best decisions we can for our children. Just last week, DQC recognized seven states for providing “best in class” public reporting to parents to make these decisions easier (pp. 14–15). An informed parent is an empowered parent!
Kathy Lally, Deputy Executive Director
I am grateful that more and more states are helping teachers and parents access and use information to support students' success in ways not imagined even just a few years ago. It's an exciting time to be part of DQC as we advocate for strengthening the safeguarding of data, while at the same time supporting innovations in their use.
And I would be remiss if I did not also say how thankful I am for how fun this NFL season has been as a lifelong New England Patriots fan! Go Pats!
Sara McClafferty, Coordinator, Federal Policy
I’m thankful to have joined DQC this year and to have learned so much about how effective data use can improve education for all students.
Evan Omerso, Senior Associate, Communications and External Affairs
I’m grateful this year for the chance to travel to different areas of the US and hear firsthand from parents their greatest hopes and concerns about their children’s education. And I am grateful for opportunities to talk to hardworking educators in schools, districts, and states who were willing to share their stories of success in education data use. It’s a privilege to help share those stories.
Brennan Parton, Senior Associate, State Policy and Advocacy
I am thankful for three-and-a-half years at DQC, during which I have learned so much from teachers, state leaders, and my colleagues. Thanks to everyone who has taught me a little more about data and why they matter.
I am thankful for parents who all want what’s best for their children, including a quality education, and for educators and education leaders who work every day to make that a reality. As a parent, I am especially thankful for quality public information about schools as I attempt to choose an elementary school for my child.
Kristin Yochum, Director, Federal Policy
I am thankful for being able to take part in a national conversation helping people understand the importance of data collection and use. And I continue to be thankful for being part of an organization that values student achievement so highly and having the support of a team that brings that value to life every day.
State and federal policymakers are increasingly focused on improving college and university teacher preparation programs as a way to build a high-quality teacher workforce. This work requires that states have the capacity to reliably and securely link teachers’ performance data with teacher preparation programs through the state’s teacher-student data link (TSDL), which links teachers to students by course. In 2014, 44 states report that they have a TSDL.
Feedback on teachers’ classroom performance can be a powerful tool to ensure continuous program improvement, inform school and district staffing assignments, and target professional development opportunities. In 2014, 22 states share information about how teachers perform in the classroom with their teacher preparation programs—up from just six states in 2011.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Education (ED) released its proposed teacher preparation regulations. The draft rule would require states to create accountability systems for their preparation programs based on several key measures, including how many graduates are employed, how many remain in the profession, and whether teachers are having a positive impact on student learning. According to ED, the proposed regulations “ask states to move away from current input-focused reporting requirements, streamline the current data requirements, incorporate more meaningful outcomes measures and improve the availability of relevant information on teacher preparation.”