As we all try to understand our rapidly evolving education environment during the COVID-19 crisis and the uncertainty that surrounds it, the Data Quality Campaign is working to elevate what’s happening – whether it’s concrete examples of what’s working in states and districts, ideas and proposals from the field, or things our organization and others are exploring. To accomplish this, we’re bringing you our thoughts on the most salient conversations happening in the last week on navigating education during the pandemic and future recovery efforts.
We’re writing this column together to combine our perspectives: Jenn brings years of experience in the classroom and in education leadership at the district and federal levels, while Paige’s expertise comes from more than a decade working on state and federal education data policy and issues. Check back weekly for our roundup of noteworthy thinking on education data and policy.
It was hard for us to concentrate on anything other than the election last week. And we know we’re not alone. So, instead of sharing our thoughts this week, we’re re-sharing our thoughts from some of our most recent blog posts. Because while the political landscape of this country is changing, the issues of dealing with the pandemic and using education data to make decisions for recovery remain.
Week of November 2: Policymakers must consider what attendance and engagement look like in the age of online learning. Leaders need information to understand who does not have access to the resources they need to learn each day. Read for more on recommendations from student data privacy advocates to ensure that states and districts are meeting the current moment.
Week of October 26: From state education chiefs to parents, everyone needs real-time data to stay informed and make crucial decisions. State leaders need COVID-19 case data and information on reopening plays to guide their decisionmaking as they work to keep students and teachers safe. In addition to pandemic data, families and communities need report card information to understand how schools serve students. Read for our take on the responsibility leaders at all levels have to make data available and actionable to those who need it.
Week of October 19: We discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students in higher education. While attention is often focused on K–12 students who can’t connect to school online, a new report finds that over 100,000 students across California do not have access to the technology they need to attend their online courses. Leaders need data to understand the full extent of the problem, and to connect students with the resources they need.
Week of October 12: States have a responsibility to share this information to help parents make informed decisions for their children. Read for our thoughts on the differing approaches states are taking when it comes to reporting COVID-19 case data in schools.
This blog post is also available as a story on Medium.