Aug 13, 2009
It is clear that throughout the nation, teaching and learning must be transformed to ensure all students are graduating from high school ready for college and careers. While many policy discussions focus on data-driven decisionmaking as the answer, too often these conversations do not include how classroom teachers can and should use data to improve instruction, the kinds of data that would be most useful to teachers, and the challenges inherent in teachers’ use of data. Ensuring that teachers are rich in data, information, and skills that enable them to improve student achievement requires focused attention from leaders at all levels, including federal policymakers. This brief addresses why using data represents a significant shift for most teachers in how they perform their jobs; explains the importance of using multiple types of data to affect learning; details the infrastructure necessary to encourage teachers’ use of data; and provides federal policy recommendations.