Funds will be used to enhance public access to and use of education data
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 16, 2016) — Here’s the good news: States across the country have spent millions of dollars making tons of school and district data available for public consumption. But here’s the bad news: Not many people or groups know where it is or what to do with it.
The mere existence of data doesn’t matter much if it isn’t usable or if data consumers don’t have the necessary training to connect the data to education decisions. The problem also applies to parents and non-profit education organizations who face large data sets but little idea how to use or apply them.
These are the problems the national non-profit advocacy organization Data Quality Campaign seeks to address with a $1 million grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
DQC has been at the forefront of the effort to ensure that stakeholders in education (students, parents, educators and policymakers) have the right information to make decisions in the education sector. The grant from the Kauffman Foundation will be used to help DQC launch an extensive national campaign to articulate its vision for appropriate, effective data use; support teacher and administrator data literacy; and to educate policymakers and the public on the value of research and evidence to education.
“DQC believes that when data are used effectively by policymakers, educators, families, and the public, education can be transformed,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, president and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. “After 10 years of supporting effective data use, we have seen tremendous progress, but we also know that the hardest work remains. That is why we see the critical need to create a new vision of effective data use for the field that helps policymakers, our partners, educators, and the public understand that we cannot accomplish our goals for a more student-centered approach to education without data.”
The Kauffman Foundation’s primary education goal calls for providing more low- and modest-income students in Kansas City with access to high-quality education options and opportunities. This goal requires improved data access and use among schools, supporting organizations, funders and others who rely heavily on demographic and student learning data as well as information about school structure and finances to make policy and practice decisions.
As part of that work, the Foundation launched EdWise in 2015, a database of K-12 Kansas and Missouri public education data in an effort to make local education data more easily accessible. It’s online at Kauffman.org/edwise.