From the Kitchen Tables of Jenn and Paige: What We’re Watching

From the Kitchen Tables of Jenn and Paige: What We’re Watching

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the Data Quality Campaign has worked 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 topics our organization and others are exploring. Each week, DQC President and CEO Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger and Executive Vice President Paige Kowalski continue to provide their thoughts on the most salient conversations happening in education. The following blog posts show the evolution of their thinking throughout the pandemic.

Week of August 31 Transparency matters. As schools and districts make decisions about reporting positive COVID-19 cases, leaders must prioritize sharing timely, relevant and easy-to-understand data. This week, Jenn and Paige discuss why transparency is more crucial than ever.

Week of August 24 Jenn discusses the digital divide and importance of data as a tool for helping leaders understand the full range of barriers students face in accessing online learning.

Week of August 17 As we all try to understand our rapidly evolving education environment during the COVID-19 crisis and the uncertainty that surrounds it, Jenn and Paige discuss steps states are taking to continue administering assessments, evidence-based decisionmaking, and the importance of student data privacy.

Week of August 10 This week, Paige discusses how three states are leveraging the power of their longitudinal data systems to address social services, including childcare and family nutrition. Additionally, she discusses assessments and the role they play in helping educators understand learning loss and how assessment data can help schools understand how to support students during recovery.

Week of August 3 Through its tracking of district reopening plans, the Center for Reinventing Public Education found that only about one-tenth of districts are planning to provide coaching/support to teachers in an online learning setting and just over one-third expect teachers to even provide feedback on student work. Jenn and Paige discuss why educators need support to improve online learning, and why their feedback will be crucial to supporting students.

Week of July 27 Texas announced it will allocate $118 million in federal funding to support higher education, including $93 million to help students continue or restart their progress toward a postsecondary degree or credential. Jenn and Paige discuss why state leaders must use the data they have to understand how many students may not return to higher education during this time and what they can do to help those students.

Week of July 20 As organizations track reopening plans and state guidance, it is clear that data is the key to recovery. Jenn and Paige discuss why data is necessary no matter what form school takes in the fall.

Week of July 13 Jenn discusses a new tracker from Johns Hopkins University that analyzes district reopening plans, as well as a new effort from Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform and Results for America to bring research to the people. The public has questions about so many facets of education in recovery—and projects like this are a step toward finding solutions.

Week of July 6 Jenn and Paige discuss a new tool from GreatSchools and Center for Reinventing Public Education that provides parents and communities information about remote learning, how instruction is delivered, and how leaders are addressing the digital divide.

Week of June 29 Jenn and Paige discuss the role social-emotional learning and personalized learning can play to meet students where they are this fall. Additionally, they discuss a new measure that Texas is using to understand the level of engagement students had during online learning.

Week of June 22 Jenn and Paige discuss why robust data and data linkages are necessary to address the large gaps that will exist within classrooms as schools return. They also discuss the importance of dashboards to display indicators—including nonacademic indicators—that will be critical for schools to understand and address in order to fully serve students.

Week of June 15 As new research shows how far students have fallen behind due to school closures, Jenn and Paige discuss the ways state leaders are beginning to step up and support districts with data as they make plans to assess learning loss and develop a path forward. Additionally, they discuss the value of assessments for the upcoming school year.

Week of June 8 Jenn and Paige address the relationship between COVID-19 and the ongoing systemic racism and oppression of the Black community, as well as the data needed to understand the full picture of the discrimination that Black students face in education.

Week of June 1 Jenn and Paige discuss a new poll that shows many teachers are hesitant to return to the classroom due to COVID-19, and how states can leverage data to make staffing decisions. They also discuss the importance of data systems, data linkages, and longitudinal data for understanding the full picture of student success and outcomes amid COVID-19 recovery.

Week of May 25 Jenn and Paige discuss new federal grants and the opportunities they provide to use data to locate and serve students.

Week of May 18 Jenn and Paige discuss legislation on state report cards for the 2020-2021 school year, comments from former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings on the value of measuring learning, as well as a Chiefs for Change report on school reopening.

Week of May 11 DQC received a lot of questions about the role of data for recovery. Jenn and Paige discuss data, including information on attendance and connectivity that DQC Board Members highlighted as important in a recent blog post.

Week of May 4 Jenn and Paige discuss the importance of investments in data systems and research for helping policymakers respond to the crisis, as well as how funds from federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act can be used enable this work.