Data Flash is DQC’s weekly roundup of news articles and blogs on effective education data use.
Between weighing their public schools options and evaluating private schools or the growing number of charter schools, there is a lot of data to wade through. Even more confusing is where to turn for reliable information about schools and student performance. This article helps cut through the clutter. (Nashville City Paper, 10/22/2012)
When students, institutions, and state governments make well-informed decisions, economy- wide benefits are the result. Publishing earnings by program will probably lead students to enroll in majors that are in higher demand. The skills gap—a mismatch between workers’ skills and those desired by employers—would shrink as individuals and institutions develop a stronger understanding of the skills demanded in the labor market. While advancements in data hold great promise to improve transparency in higher education, developments will be necessary to ensure that our standard for data quality is of the highest order. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/22/2012)
The cause of their concern are new, tougher standards that will show that only about half of students score at proficient or advanced levels on standardized tests, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. About 80 percent of students scored at that level under the previous standards. (Fall Reporter , 10/20/2012)
The initial results: Out of 1,877 schools in Wisconsin that received a public report card with a rating Monday, 86 percent met or exceeded the state’s expectations for performance. About 14 percent of the schools rated fell below the state’s expectations for performance. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Journal Sentinel Online, 10/22/2012)
One of the most interesting educational data initiatives is the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Educational Technology’s MyData, which will give college students access to their own data in a machine-readable format, including not only student loan and financial aid information but also, at least with one vendor, information from a student information system. The idea is that students will own their data in a permanent and portable form. (EdWeek Blog, 10/20/2012)
In order to make real change, in order to make the kind of impact that produces the results we want, we need a new way of doing business. In this case, we need to have the discipline to consistently use the growing body of education data to narrow our focus on what matters most and invest in what really works. (Huffington Post, 10/24/2012)