WASHINGTON (September 7, 2017)—Following is the statement of Aimee Rogstad Guidera, the President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign, 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, on the recommendations of the federal Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.
I applaud the recommendations released today by the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. The recommendations affirm the importance of using data and evidence to understand and improve programs so that our nation achieves the positive outcomes we desire in education and other public sectors. Policymakers should not have to act on hunches. Decades of investments in technology and data systems offer the potential to understand what works and how, better than ever before. To ensure every student succeeds, policymakers must increase the availability and use of data, and ensure scarce public dollars are invested in the programs and strategies that lead to the results our students, families, and taxpayers deserve. This collection and use of data, as the Commission notes, must go hand-in-hand with efforts to ensure this data is protected and to build the capacity of all stakeholders to use data ethically. Only when data is trusted, will its full power be leveraged to improve education and other public services.
The Commission’s recommendations underscore a clear commitment across government to transparency about outcomes and how data is used and protected; they also reinforce the importance of considering the ecosystem of state and federal roles and responsibilities for making smart investments in education and other public goods based on evidence. I also applaud the commitment to creating a structure for making consistent and clear decisions about how and when data can be used and useful, in addition to being secure.
The President and Congress should review these recommendations and take action to further build a culture throughout all levels of government that values and uses evidence while ensuring the privacy, security, and confidentiality of Americans are safeguarded. The Data Quality Campaign thanks Senator Murray and Speaker Ryan for leading this bipartisan effort and looks forward to translating these important recommendations for the education field and bringing them into action to serve student learning and success.
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