Data-Driven Decision-Making

Time Well Spent: Eight Powerful Practices of Successful, Expanded-Time Schools

This report from the National Center on Time & Learning discusses key practices in optimizing increased learning time. The authors surveyed 30 high-performing schools, including 11 high schools, with longer school days and/or years and identified eight “powerful practices” of using increased learning time to improve student performance and engagement. The report provides case study illustrations to show school-level implementation for each of the eight practices.

Making Every Diploma Count: Using Extended-Year Graduation Rates to Measure Student Success

This updated brief provides background information on the extended-year graduation rate and discusses how use of this rate can support increased services for struggling or off-track students. In addition, the authors provide three recommendations for state policymakers as they work to create new accountability systems that document and reflect student success outside the traditional four-year graduation rate.

Using ACT Assessment Scores to Set Benchmarks for College Readiness

To better predict high school graduate preparedness for college course taking, the authors use Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to analyze ACT English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science test scores to discern the utility of these scores as predictors of success or failure in first year college students taking typical freshman year courses. They found that although the test scores are useful predictors of success in first-year college courses, ACT scores above the cutoffs do not guarantee success.

Using Data to Increase College and Career Readiness: A Primer for State Policymakers

This resource from the Data Quality Campaign is a primer for state policymakers. The authors discuss the role that data plays in developing college and career ready policies. They specifically discuss the importance of state policymakers supporting the efforts to use data. A checklist is provided that policymakers can use to determine whether they have the necessary data capacity.

Supporting Data Use While Protecting the Privacy, Security and Confidentiality of Student Information: A Primer for State Policymakers

This policy brief sponsored by the Data Quality Campaign discusses the states’ role in keeping student data private and used effectively and securely. The author explains the importance of state guidance on securing data and creating efficient systems of using data. It provides recommendations including establishing roles for data stewardship, ensuring policy documentation, transparency and enforcement, and supporting organizational capacity.

Education as a Data-Driven Enterprise: A Primer for Leaders in Business, Philanthropy, and Education

This brief, sponsored by Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, and the Data Quality Campaign, discusses the importance of using data at various levels within the education system. The authors describe the use to of data in identifying students at risk of dropping out as well as in identifying if students are college and career ready. The brief also identifies challenges, including making sure that data is accessible while protecting privacy, and linking data across systems.

Reinventing the Federal Role in Education: Supporting the Goal of College and Career Readiness for All Students

This issue brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education addresses the need to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to help improve the college and career readiness of all high school students, especially those at the lowest-performing high schools.

Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972–2008

This report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) builds upon a series of NCES reports on high school dropout and completion rates that began in 1988. It presents estimates of rates in 2008, provides data about trends in dropout and completion rates over the last three and a half decades (1972–2008), and examines the characteristics of high school dropouts and completers in 2008.


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