Promoting Data in the Classroom

Innovative State Models and Missed Opportunities

This report explores the use of student achievement data to improve classroom instruction. The paper, Promoting Data in the Classroom: Innovative State Models and Missed Opportunities, highlights examples from two states, Oregon and Delaware, of federally funded, state-driven efforts to equip teachers with the tools they need to utilize student data.

The No Child Left Behind Act launched a decade of development in state educational data systems, and since its passage, states and school districts have produced reams of student achievement data each year. However, unless teachers are able to capture those and other data and utilize them in the classroom to ensure each student’s needs are met, they are of little value to school officials or students.

This report from the New America Foundation offers federal policymakers a view into two states’ federally funded efforts to implement data systems that work for teachers. It also provides states with a glimpse of the challenges and successes each state reached throughout the implementation of their projects, and explores the federal policy implications of each project.

The report includes:

  • An introduction to ongoing federal efforts to promote data collection and use in classrooms;
  • Detailed narratives of the Oregon DATA Project and the Delaware Race to the Top Data Coach Program;
  • Common themes of the two states’ projects; and
  • Lessons learned from both states’ efforts that should be utilized in designing federal policy.

The federal government requires the collection of significant amounts of student data, but fails to provide any coherent policy to provide those data to teachers or to encourage teachers to use the data in classrooms. The Oregon and Delaware data projects provide models of successful projects that do so using existing federal dollars, and show how those or other programs could be expanded to promote the use of data in more classrooms around the country.

To read the full report, please click here.




Jennifer Cohen Kabaker

Clare McCann is the deputy director for federal higher education policy with New America's Education Policy program. She previously served as a senior adviser on higher education policy at the U.S. Department of Education.