Using Data in Schools and Classrooms
Teachers and administrators have perhaps the most frequent and pressing need for longitudinal data. While there are many groups of stakeholders to be included in the planning phases of the SLDS (statewide longitudinal data system), teachers and administrators will be the two user groups with the most data needs.
The concept of data is not an unfamiliar one to today’s teachers. In many schools, they are accustomed to having to track and use data in the classroom. However, longitudinal data, and the volumes of them that an SLDS provides access to, are unlike any data previously used by LEAs (local educational agencies). The effective integration of longitudinal data into schools and the classroom is an important step in realizing the benefits of an SLDS. A true culture of data in schools begins with administrators and teachers. The ultimate purpose of an SLDS is to improve student learning, and this necessitates that teachers welcome and utilize longitudinal data in their day-to-day instruction. It means, also, that teachers and administrators should understand what data will be used, and in what ways, and know that it’s not a tool of punishment. While this is, by all measures, a challenging task, establishing a strong culture of data at the school and classroom level is the “final frontier” for the longitudinal data contained in the SLDS. This chapter outlines the culture of data at the school level: key skills for educators and administrators, ...