Communications, Research

Public Opinions on Data

Public Opinions on Data

Since 2014, DQC has conducted public opinion research to better understand how parents and teachers think about education data. Since 2016, we have been asking parents and teachers directly, through polls completed by The Harris Poll, to share their opinions on important issues in education data – from access to privacy. In 2022 we have begun asking students and superintendents how they value and use data in their decisionmaking. The findings from this research inform the resources we create and the recommendations we make to ensure policies and practices related to education data are serving the needs of those closest to students.

Findings from DQC’s 2022 National Poll

Students Want Access and Support to Use Their Own Data to Navigate Their Futures: During the COVID-19 pandemic, students have faced uncertainty inside and outside of school. A national student poll from the Data Quality Campaign and the Kentucky Student Voice Team surveyed high school students to find out how they are thinking about data as they navigate high school and are making their postsecondary and workforce plans. Students conveyed that data about learning and academic progress is important to helping them stay on track after the pandemic, but their own data isn’t getting back to them. Their message came through loud and clear: students want access and support to use their own data to navigate their futures.

Better Access to Data Helps Superintendents Make Decisions. They Want More of It.: Access to data enables district superintendents to make decisions for the students and schools they serve. A national poll from the Data Quality Campaign and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, surveyed district superintendents to find out how they are using data to support their students and schools. Superintendents shared that data is an important part of their decisionmaking, providing insights about student and school performance and instilling confidence that their students are on track for success. But whether it is provided by schools or their state, superintendents want access to more data.

Findings from DQC’s 2021 National Poll

Disconnects in Perceptions of Data Use Threaten Recovery. State Leaders Must Act Now: DQC’s sixth poll of parents and first poll of principals uncovered several disconnects in perceptions about data—disconnects that must be addressed. From parents’ supportive views on state assessments to principals’ confidence in teachers’ capacity to use data, our 2021 polling results show what parents and principals are thinking about data use and how education leaders can work to overcome these potential barriers to recovery efforts.

Findings from DQC’s 2020 National Poll

Teachers Want Data to Understand the Impact of Remote Learning and Training to Use It Effectively: DQC’s third national teacher poll surveyed teachers in the midst of school closures and remote learning, seeking to better understand their experiences and needs. The poll results show that teachers want data about how the COVID-19 crisis has affected student learning as well as training and resources to use that data effectively.

Parents Want Data to Understand the Impact of School Closures and Support Recovery: DQC’s fifth national parent poll also surveyed parents during remote learning and school closures. Parents are clear: they need data to support their students, and they want more information, including assessment data, to understand the impact of school closures on student learning and to inform future recovery efforts.

Findings from DQC’s 2019 National Poll

Teachers Want to Use Data But Can’t Go It Alone: DQC’s second national poll of teachers found they are strongly committed to using data in service of students – but are left on their own to make this happen. Policymakers and school leaders are missing critical moments throughout teachers’ careers and these missed opportunities are driving teachers to build their own capacity to put data to work.

Parents Are Ready for the Next Generation of Education Data: DQC’s fourth national poll of teachers uncovers steady support for education is also driving parents’ appetite for this information to be used in new ways to support their children, including through greater public reporting and secure access to data by adults who support students outside of the classroom.

Findings from DQC’s 2018 National Poll

Teachers See the Power of Data – But Don’t Have Enough Time to Use It: Commissioned in 2018, DQC’s first national poll of teachers found that teachers value data. Teachers reported that data can be used to ensure student success but report roadblocks, like time and training, are keeping them from effectively using data in the classroom. Teachers also believe that it’s up to school and district leaders to take action to remove these barriers to data use.

Parents & Teachers Agree: Data Is Key to Supporting Students: DQC’s third parent poll and first teacher poll uncovers insights on how parents and teachers view data collection, access, and use. Findings include an increase in parents’ trust in both the protection of their child’s data and in educators to use their child’s data appropriately.

Findings from DQC’s 2018 Focus Groups

Utah Teachers Value, Use, and Need Data: DQC partnered with Hope Street Group to learn more about the opinions of teachers in Utah. We heard that, like the national sample of teachers in our 2018 poll, Utah teachers value, use, and need data to better support their students’ learning and outcomes. Utah teachers also expressed the actions states can take to ensure the time, training, and tools needed to make data use in the classroom possible.

Findings from DQC’s 2017 National Poll

Parents Value, Trust, and Rely on Education Data: The findings from DQC’s second national poll of parents found that parents value, trust, and rely on publicly reported education data and individual data about their child to make important decisions to support their child’s educational success.

Findings from DQC’s 2017 Focus Groups

Tennessee Teachers Value, Use, and Need Data: DQC partnered with Hope Street Group to ask Tennessee teachers from across the state their opinions about data. We learned that Tennessee teachers value and use data to help their students learn and grow, and need greater support from states to make data use a more seamless part of the day.

Findings from DQC’s 2016 National Poll

Parents Want Their Child’s Data: DQC’s first national poll of parents examined their opinions on the education data that is collected to support students and the types of information they are most interested in receiving to make better decisions.