The Data Quality Campaign, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that advocates for high-quality data, has released a paper showing how far states have come in developing and using the data.
"Data For Action, 2013" gathered information by tracking a number known as a "unique identifier" that is assigned to students entering a school system that enables data tracking. Students’ identities remain anonymous. All K-12 public school students have had such a number since 2006. Unique identifiers help gauge student progress, assist policymakers and help teachers better understand student needs.
The report places New York in a leadership role when it comes to using student data for making local and state education policy decisions. New York has taken seven actions to ensure effective data use, compared to three last year.
Aimee Guidera is executive director of the Data Quality Campaign, which has been evaluating states' data use since 2005. She understands there are student privacy issues, but urges parents NOT to "opt out" of the data-tracking process. Guidera believes the data can help teachers personalize learning and agrees privacy and security must be maintained. She stresses student data is protected and parents should be granted access.