In fewer than 10 years, states and districts have taken bold steps to build and improve systems that collect data about students, staffing and expenditures, but the data do not often provide adequate information to guide policy and practice.

Increasing amounts of data are now available to parents, educators, researchers and policymakers. However, it has not been fully utilized because critical data are not collected, which can limit policymakers and educators ability to diagnose problems and offer solutions. Using Data to Guide State Education Policy and Practice offers practical policy options to remove those obstacles and ensure the right data are being captured and interpreted.

Using Data to Guide State Education Policy and Practice outlines how governors can promote the greater use of data in their states by:

  • Collecting more actionable data designed to meet identified stakeholder questions, such as information on students’ mastery of standards, the effects of academic interventions on student performance and a clearer link between school and district expenditures and student performance;
  • Linking multiple data systems through the adoption and use of common, open data standards; and
  • Providing new tools for aggregating and analyzing data that ease educators’ ability to offer individualized instruction and support policymakers’ ability to monitor performance.