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Opportunities to Make Data Work for Students in Every Student Succeeds Act

Opportunities to Make Data Work for Students in Every Student Succeeds Act

Data Quality Campaign releases new state recommendations

WASHINGTON (October 11, 2016) – The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) empowers states to create more robust public reports than ever before to ensure that parents, educators, and taxpayers have the information that they deserve. The Data Quality Campaign’s (DQC) new recommendations, Opportunities to Make Data Work for Students in the Every Student Succeeds Act, outlines ways to use data to examine what is working for students—and what is not—to meet states’ education goals.

“We encourage states to take advantage of ESSA to make data work for students, providing critical access to important data that educators and families want and need,” said Paige Kowalski, executive vice president of the Data Quality Campaign.

The recommendations detail how DQC’s “Four Policy Priorities” can help states do more than meet the letter of the law in ESSA by maximizing the data foundation they have already built over the past decade. Now that states will be reporting more information publicly, DQC has identified ways in which they can put this rich data to work to provide a fuller picture of student and school success.

  • Since ESSA requires states to report chronic absence rates, they should consider creating early warning systems that districts and schools can use to catch students who may be at risk of falling off track.
  • Parents want information about whether their students are progressing, not only information about proficiency. Although ESSA does not require that states report student growth measures, states should consider including this data on school report cards.
  • Cohort high school graduation rates will paint a fuller picture when presented side-by-side with information about postsecondary enrollment. While ESSA only requires states to report postsecondary enrollment “where available,” states should aim to include this and other information about postsecondary success.

The report highlights states that are making strides to be transparent and improve the quality of information to ensure that every child excels. The featured states are: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.


About the Data Quality Campaign:
The Data Quality Campaign is a nonprofit policy and advocacy organization leading the effort to bring every part of the education community together to empower educators, families, and policymakers with quality information to make decisions that ensure students excel. For more information, go to and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@EdDataCampaign).