Communications, Research

Start With Your Questions

Start With Your Questions

The current coronavirus pandemic has shown us that data matters now more than ever. But how can we use education data to find solutions during these unprecedented times?

At the Data Quality Campaign, we believe that starting with your questions is one of the most important steps to ensuring that solutions have the intended impact. Often, it’s easy to think that a proposed solution will produce the results that leaders are looking for – but it’s crucial to think about how that solution will provide what leaders need to know to make the right decisions for students. Starting with your questions allows leaders to see how a solution will answer those questions and move forward effectively.

With COVID-19 disrupting education across the country, it’s even more important to identify what we, as a country, know and don’t know, and how we can use that information to solve problems as we move forward. To do this, we want to hear from you.

DQC’s #StartWithYourQs campaign is an effort to crowdsource information about education data – what data those closest to students (parents to policymakers and everyone in between) have and wish they had to make better decisions for students right now. We want to know what data can guide research into what worked, could help educators and leaders next year if they had access to that information, and would have led to easier and better decisionmaking during this crisis. We’re gathering these questions that begin to guide research into what worked and how it can be used in the future to improve outcomes for students.

For example, here are some questions we’re already thinking about:

  • With what frequency did a school reach out to a family/student during the spring closure?
  • Was direct instruction provided or were resources aggregated and shared with families?
  • Did parents have access to their district’s learning management system? If so, did they engage more with it?
  • What percent of high school students enrolled in postsecondary in the fall and what is that trend data over the past few years?

We’re listening. No question is too small (or too large) – and we’re excited to hear from you. Share your thoughts with us on social media using #StartWithYourQs or by emailing us at


This blog post is also available as a story on Medium.