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Mitchell Chester Awarded for Using Data to Improve Student Achievement in Massachusetts

Mitchell Chester Awarded for Using Data to Improve Student Achievement in Massachusetts

WASHINGTON (October 1, 2015)—The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) today presents Mitchell Chester, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with the State Policymaker of the Year Award. The award recognizes a state policymaker who is encouraging and supporting data use to improve student success.

“DQC has long looked to Massachusetts as a national leader in promoting policies, practices, and tools that support effective data use and empower those closest to the child to make the best decisions,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, president and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. “Commissioner Chester’s use of data to promote teacher equity, improve teacher preparation programs, and create early warning systems has stood out as an exemplar.”

Commissioner Chester has created a culture of data use in education in the state of Massachusetts. His leadership helped create a dashboard for district and school leaders to enhance their understanding of how teachers are distributed to ensure all students get equitable access to great instructors. His efforts have also helped Massachusetts to use data to continuously improve teacher preparation by coaching teacher preparation programs on how to use data to make informed decisions and improve teacher training.

In 2012, Commissioner Chester introduced a new way to help students stay on track for college and career by developing the Massachusetts Early Warning Indicator System, which uses data to identify and prevent students from dropping out of high school.

“States should provide valuable data back to educators so that they may improve practice and support student achievement,” said Commissioner Chester.


For DQC: Jon-Michael Basile, 202-787-5718,
For Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Jacqueline Reis, 781-338-3115,

 About DQC:

The Data Quality Campaign is a national, nonprofit organization leading the effort to bring every part of the education community together to empower educators, parents, and policymakers with quality information to make decisions that ensure students achieve their best. For more information, go to and follow us on Twitter @EdDataCampaign.

About the Awards:

DQC’s Data Flashlight Awards recognize education visionaries, leaders, and trailblazers who are championing the power of safe and effective data use to support families and educators in their efforts to improve student achievement.