Educator-driven data use? A case study of P-20 data use in Washington State
Beard, Melissa Melei
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The federal government has granted states millions of dollars to build longitudinal P-20 data systems. These systems link early learning, K-12, post-secondary and workforce data so the various educational pathways people follow can be studied in an effort to improve the overall educational system. In Washington State, the state legislature created a P-20 office to focus on the transitions of students from one sector to another and the US Department of Education granted this office millions of dollars to link data and provide information. A result of this grant was a high school feedback report that provides information to high schools about the post-secondary experiences of their graduates. Using the case study method, educators from state, regional, district, school and classroom levels were interviewed about how they use, or hope to use, P-20 data. Findings include different types of data use by different educators within the system: data use to support strategic decisions being made state, regional and district administrators and data use to support tactical decisions being made by school administrators and classroom teachers. P-20 data is best used to identify areas of success or improvement at the school or district levels. It cannot be used to support the tactical decisions made in the classroom. A new data use conceptual framework also highlights the need to define a question and frame the problem prior to seeking data.
- Education - Seattle