Topic Guides

DQC is dedicated to building knowledge and developing resources that advance the effective use of education data. Explore the following topic guides to dive deeper into specific areas of interest.

Shining a Light on the Power of School-Spending Data

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states are required to publish school-level spending data on report cards. As most states have previously only published district-level spending data, this is a powerful mandate and has the potential to provide important data to stakeholders at all levels that can be used to support students. But state leaders must go beyond compliance by sharing this information side by side with student outcomes data and equipping leaders with it throughout the year – rather than only in report cards, as required by law.

How Data Can Support Student Success from Early Learning to Workforce

No two students have the same path to and through school and work. Each has their own strengths and goals that inform the education and workforce options they pursue. And each deserves to achieve success on the path they’ve chosen. That’s where data comes in. The following are resources from DQC that policymakers can use to ensure students and families have the data they need to make decisions along their journey.

Why It Matters to Look at Students’ Assets, Instead of Focusing on Deficits

Conscious or not, how we talk about a problem gives away a lot about how we view the solution. While state leaders have outlined bold equity goals to improve the outcomes of all students, these goals can’t be met if the data used to measure and support them reflect conscious or unconscious bias. To help those closest to students understand what this means and their role in addressing it, DQC’s blog series examines how we can shift the way we talk and how we think about today’s education issues to ensure the success of every student.

Show Me the Data: DQC’s Annual Analysis of State Report Cards

Since 2016, DQC has looked at report cards for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and published our analysis in Show Me the Data. We do this because report cards should provide parents and the public with information about the outcomes of students and schools in their state. But if information that helps paint the full picture of student success and school quality is missing, hard to find, or impossible to understand, families are left in the dark. Here are the resources that can help states use report cards as a tool to prioritize continuous improvement.

ESSA Resources to Make Data Work for Students

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) charged states with developing high-quality education goals that further the outcomes of all students. Regardless of the goals outlined in your state’s ESSA plan, data is needed to measure progress and identify best practices. DQC created a series of resources that shine a light on how states can use data to meet these different education goals and support student success.

Using Data to Strengthen Your Teacher Pipeline

Teachers are the most important in-school factor when it comes to student achievement and states are tackling big issues like teacher diversity and teacher retention to make sure every child has access to a great teacher. But to make this vision a reality, state and local leaders need access to the right data to make informed policy and practice decisions. Here are resources to help state policymakers and advocates as they think about the unique needs of their teacher pipeline.

Resources to Support Evidence-Based Decisionmaking in States

When students, parents, educators, and policymakers have the right information to make decisions, students excel. One of the most important sources of this information is education research. Here’s how policymakers at all levels can use resources from DQC to invest in evidence-based decisionmaking to support student learning.

The Art of the Possible in Action

Leaders do not need to start from square one to make data work for students. By modeling concrete examples of effective data use, state and district leaders can utilize lessons learned and avoid unintended consequences. The following are success stories, case studies, and interviews from DQC that demonstrate the art of the possible and should serve as a starting point for leaders looking to put data to work for students in their communities.