Education data is a critical tool for answering states’ policy questions and meeting education goals. From school safety to student data privacy, legislators have the power to introduce legislation that changes how data is used to support students, educators, and schools. As legislators continue to include data as a critical tool to help advance their education priorities, they should explore ways they can use their unique role to create and promote policies that support the ability of both state-level decisionmakers and those closest to students to use this data to take action to support student success. This page showcases DQC’s reviews of state education data legislation since 2014.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted legislative sessions and prompted legislators to introduce and pass education data legislation to address the immediate priorities such as student well-being and online learning access. Overall, policymakers continued the work to make data more accessible and transparent for students, parents, educators, and the public at-large. Additionally, more than twenty percent of this year’s bills govern data outside of K–12, continuing a legislative trend of using data to improve student experiences in early childhood, postsecondary, and the workforce.
In 2019, legislators on both sides of the aisle in nearly every state proposed legislation addressing the use of data to inform decisionmaking to support students on their path to success. Through proposed legislation, many of these policymakers took steps to improve the foundational data systems and processes that make data work for students and to embed data use within broader proposals to improve public education. This year, legislation highlighted education data as a critical tool for answering states’ policy questions and meeting education goals— from early childhood to K–12, postsecondary, and the workforce.