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 All members of Mayor Keller’s task force are committed to improving Grand City’s educational system and community from the perspective representative of his or her institution, role, or specialized expertise. The Grand City community at large is excited about the work being done and proposed by the task force 

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SAGE Journals has a new look – see what this means for you

8 Kappan February 2015

Parents need access to
education data —

and need to know it’s secure

Privacy and school data

K1502_February.indd 8 12/19/14 10:30 AM

V96 N5 kappanmagazine.org 9

Parents like data — when they know what
they are and how they’re being used — and
feel confi dent that they’re being kept private
and secure.

Like PDK at www.

Illustration: Thinkstock/iStock

E veryone with a stake in education — espe-
cially parents — should understand the value
of data and how it can benefi t their families.
We know getting the right information into

the right hands at the right time can make a world
of difference for America’s students. But most peo-
ple aren’t hearing from their schools, districts, and
states about how those data are being used. In fact,
most parents hear “education data” and immediately
think of test scores — and only test scores. While
test results are an important piece of the data puzzle,
they’re just one kind of information. What about
teacher credentials and graduation rates? Or college
enrollment and student growth over time? Not to
mention the information schools use to keep buses
running on time and hot meals coming through the
lunch line. These types and uses of data are valuable,
and parents should be aware of all the work that’s
happening with them.

Parents like data — when they know what they are
and how they’re being used — and feel confi dent
that they’re being kept private and secure. That’s
what the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) learned last
spring when we convened parents of school-age chil-
dren in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Kansas City, and Se-
attle to talk about their concerns with the education
system. The problem is most parents don’t know ex-
actly what education data are. Who can blame them?

Trust through transparency
Most parents trust their children’s teachers and

school districts. This was borne out in the most
recent PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes
Toward the Public Schools, which found that 64%
of the public has trust and confi dence in America’s
public school teachers (Bushaw & Calderon, 2014).
We need educators and schools to put that trust to
work, sharing with parents the full who, what, why,
when, and how of data use. This kind of transparency

is crucial to parents’ ability to understand how this
information can be used to benefi t their child — and
how it’s being kept private, secure, and confi dential.
Without this information, people can’t trust that
their children’s data are safe. And parents won’t al-
low schools to use data if they don’t trust that they’re
being kept safe.

Educators shouldn’t be alarmed by the important
conversation about using student data and how data
are being safeguarded. There is some misinforma-
tion circulating through that discussion — some-

aIMEE roGStad GUIdEra (aimee@dataqualitycampaign.
org) is founder and executive director of the Data Quality Cam-
paign, Washington, D.C.

Transparent communication about what kinds and how much data
schools have about students offers the best way for parents and
teachers to make education decisions.

By Aimee Rogstad Guidera

K1502_February.indd 9 12/19/14 10:30 AM

10 Kappan February 2015

be prepared to speak to how data use is bolstering
student success and to convey information beyond
simple test scores and course grades that parents will
find useful in monitoring their children’s success and
making nuanced decisions about their education.

Again, transparency is the key to establishing trust
among all parties. Last year, 36 states considered
more than 100 bills on student data privacy, 30 of
which became law (Data Quality Campaign, 2014b).
The best ones have measures designed to answer the
public’s most pressing and obvious questions about
student data such as what exact pieces of informa-
tion does the education system collect? New laws
in Colorado and Missouri call for a public inven-
tory of everything collected by the state. All states
should provide this information to parents, and they
should support districts and schools at the vanguard
of communication with the public. With this trans-
parency established, education leaders will be able
to demonstrate not just how student data are being
protected but how they’re being used to provide a
better education for kids.

The task of communicating with parents often
rests with districts, which also have a major role to
play in transparency. A first step toward that trans-
parency is ensuring that everyone in each school
building is clear on district and state data-use policies
and feels supported to use data effectively. Teachers
shouldn’t be given an imperative to use data to im-
prove instruction for students and then left in their
classrooms to figure out things on their own. In-
stead, states and districts must support teachers and
principals to be data literate. A data literate educator
can continuously, effectively, and ethically access, in-
terpret, act on, and communicate multiple types of
data from state, local, classroom, and other sources
to improve outcomes for students.

States should support teacher data literacy through
licensure policy and other means, like ensuring that
all districts have the technical infrastructure and
training practices to provide high-quality data. But
districts should lead the implementation and play
an important role in putting a structure around data
literacy work and helping schools and teachers figure
out what technology is appropriate in classrooms to
help students and also to protect privacy. Teachers
are the first and strongest communicators with par-
ents about their children’s education, and a school
faculty with a clear sense of their district’s programs
and policies around data use will be able to share ac-
curate information about the role of effective data
use and about where parents can get answers to their

Parent access to data
A 2013 survey showed that 76% of parents think

times repeated in the media — but the dubious argu-
ments are outweighed by legitimate concerns from
parents and the public. As a parent myself, I under-
stand the feeling. I want to know that my children’s
information is being protected. Just as important, I
want to know that it’s being used to advance their
learning. Such transparency can strengthen relation-
ships between parents and educators. The first step
along that path is communication.

Many actors have a part to play in transparency, but
it starts with state education leaders. Districts need
clear guidance from the state so they can confidently
support teachers’ data use, set their own policies, or
ensure that schools are safeguarding state data.

Districts should push their states to establish that
guidance, since they are at the front lines of com-
munication and need answers to parent questions.

Conversations with parents
Schools and districts should be prepared to answer

questions like, “How do I know my child’s privacy
is being protected?” Schools and districts must de-
velop and share explanations about their local pri-
vacy and security policies. But districts also should

Districts need clear guidance from the state
so they can confidently support teachers’
data use, set their own policies, or ensure
that schools are safeguarding state data.

K1502_February.indd 10 12/19/14 10:30 AM

V96 N5 kappanmagazine.org 11

workforce, providing a clearer picture of a student’s
experience. They can develop analytic tools such
as growth measures to help keep kids on track to
graduation. And they can set statewide policies to
support good data use. But most parents are not in-
terested in which entity is providing the information
— state, district, or school — as long as it’s useful.
Choosing a high school, parents want to see gradu-
ation rates that reflect reality — for example, that
students change schools and districts throughout the
year. They want to see how the school’s graduates
fare in college and what the enrollment and reme-
diation rates are. Only the state can piece together
data from disparate sources to provide this essential
information for parent decision making.

Yet states have a ways to go in producing reports
meaningful to parents. Most states create student
progress reports that provide information that
parents and students can use to improve student
achievement, but few tailor these reports to meet
parent needs. For example, DQC’s Data for Action
survey of states found that 41 states produce growth
reports, but only 20 produce them with parents in
mind (2014a). And what about access to their own

their children’s schools are providing a good or excel-
lent quality of education (AP-NORC, 2013). Parents
may trust their local schools and teachers, but many
feel at a loss when it comes to making a difference
themselves. Nearly all of them (96%) believe par-
ent involvement is very important to their child’s
education, but only 41% think they have substantial
influence over the education their children receive
at school. Access to useful, timely information about
their child’s learning will help empower parents to
be better advocates for their children. Indeed, two-
thirds of parents say that information on changes in
student test scores, on teachers’ academic and train-
ing backgrounds, and on teachers’ ability to improve
student outcomes is helpful in determining school
quality. States and districts are responsible for ensur-
ing that parents have that information.

I can relate to the frustration of feeling in the dark
about my kids’ progress. (Is my child grasping the
material? How can their teachers create lessons ap-
propriate to their strengths and needs? Are they ready
for next year? It’s all leading to the ultimate question:
Are my kids prepared to graduate high school and
go to college or get a job?) Education data can be a
powerful tool in answering those questions but only
if the information is getting into parents’ hands.

The right kind of data — useful, trustworthy,
timely, and easy to find — can serve many purposes.
Information about children’s progress in school
helps parents establish expectations, have meaning-
ful conversations with their children’s teachers, and
take action to support their children’s success. In-
formation about their children’s current school and
other schools helps parents understand the quality of
the schools in their communities where they include
indicators such as college remediation rates and the
percentage of a high school’s graduates who enroll
in a four-year university.

While schools and districts provide some informa-
tion to parents about their own children’s progress,
states also have a role in ensuring that parents have
access to data about their children’s academic per-
formance. States have access to limited but critical
student data collected by schools. They can use their
resources — including technical expertise and finan-
cial support — to produce student progress reports
and customized tools to help parents make informed
decisions about their children’s education. States
also can support districts in their efforts to pro-
vide parents with information about their children’s
academic achievement, helping parents choose the
schools, courses, and programs that best meet their

States can supplement the work of smaller, less
affluent districts. They can link individual student
information from K-12 to postsecondary to the

Communicating about exactly what data are
and how they’re used is essential to building
trust between parents and schools.

* Deepen your
understanding of
this article with
questions and
activities in this
month’s Kappan
Discussion Guide
by Lois Brown
Easton. Download
a PDF of the
guide at kappan

K1502_February.indd 11 12/19/14 10:30 AM

12 Kappan February 2015

that help paint a full picture of their child’s learning

Communication around what data are and how
they’re used also is essential. DQC’s infographic
Who Uses Student Data? (pp. 40-41 in this issue)
illustrates the types of data collected by school
systems and where they do (and don’t) travel when
they leave the classroom. We developed the info-
graphic largely to help policy makers understand
and communicate about laws involving education
data, but the response from teachers and parents
has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents are
hungry for easy-to-understand information that
explains just what these systems are and how they

Beyond explaining the limitations around what
data can be collected, we’ve also found that par-
ents want more specifi cs about the value of data.
Another recent DQC infographic, Ms. Bullen’s
Data-Rich Year (http://dataqualitycampaign.org/
fi nd-resources/infographic-ms-bullens-data-rich-
year), broadens the notion of what data are and shows
how educators can use that additional information to
improve student outcomes in many ways throughout
the school year.

Communicating about exactly what data are and
how they’re used is essential to building trust be-
tween parents and their school systems. And com-
municating about the full breadth of tools and re-
sources that can be brought to life by data can go
beyond trust and actually build demand for effective
data use. Smart data use has the power to transform
children’s lives. Parents should know this and have
access to data to help make that transformation a
reality. K


AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (2013). National

education survey. Chicago, IL: Author. www.apnorc.org/



Bushaw, W.J. & Calderon, V.J. (2014, October). 46th annual

PDK/Gallup poll of the public’s attitudes toward the public

schools. Americans put teacher quality on center stage. Phi

Delta Kappan, 96 (2), 48-59. www.pdkpoll.org

Data Quality Campaign. (2014a). Data for action 2014.

Washington, DC: Author. http://dataqualitycampaign.org/


Data Quality Campaign. (2014b). State student data privacy

legislation: What happened in 2014, and what is next?

Washington, DC: Author. http://dataqualitycampaign.org/fi nd-


children’s data that follows their progress over time?
Only 17 states provide that to parents. More focus
from the state on providing parents good, timely in-
formation will support district efforts to get quality
information to parents, especially in smaller districts
with fewer resources.

What works?
States and districts are already acting to ensure

that parents have access to good information. For
example, Georgia encourages data as the starting
point for conversations between parents and teach-
ers. The state’s virtual “tunnel” links data from a
single state system directly to district-level student
information systems and lets district administrators,
principals, teachers, and parents access state educa-
tion data through their district’s existing program.
Local teachers and parents have access to detailed
longitudinal data to support children in the class-
room and at home. Denver Public Schools allows
parents to use data to ensure their children are meet-
ing key academic milestones and making progress
over time. The district’s Digital Door, a secure and
user-friendly data portal, gives parents timely reports

Parents want more specifi cs about the value
of data.

K1502_February.indd 12 12/19/14 10:30 AM

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Beyond “Autopsy Data”

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    Beyond “Autopsy Data”

    Bolstering Teacher Leadership, Morale, and School Improvement
    William Sterrett and Eric Irizarry


    © 2014 The University Council for Educational Administration
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1555458914551828Published inJournal of Cases in Educational Leadership
    PublisherSAGE Publications



    Teacher working conditions surveys provide biennial, comprehensive data regarding school leadership. This case describes how a Title I middle school principal proactively addresses end-of-year data to address identified needs and growth areas in a collaborative manner in her middle school. The principal works in a concerted manner with an assistant principal, district liaison, and teacher leaders to make a collaborative correction in her school to foster time in collaboration, increased teacher leadership, and enhanced professional development.

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    Case Narrative

    Strategies for Growth Areas

    School Culture and Context

    Roles and Relationships



    Teaching Notes

    The Role of Teacher Leadership

    The Use of Survey Data

    Collaborative Discussion

    Authors’ Note

    Declaration of Conflicting Interests



    Author Biographies

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    Figure 1.
    Identified conditions for teacher leadership.
    Source. York-Barr and Duke (2004).



    Table 1.

    Percent agree

    2012 Jefferson Middle
    2014 Jefferson Middle


     Q2.1 b
    Teachers have time available to collaborate with colleagues.

     Q2.1 f
    Teachers have sufficient instructional time to meet the needs of all students.

    Facilities and resources

     Q3.1 f
    The school environment is clean and well maintained.

     Q3.1 h
    The physical environment of classrooms in this school supports teaching and learning.

    Community support and involvement

     Q4.1 b
    This school maintains clear, two-way communication with the community.

     Q4.1 c
    This school does a good job of encouraging parent/guardian involvement.

    Managing student conduct

     Q5.1 b
    Students at this school follow rules of conduct.

     Q5.1 e
    School administrators support teachers’ efforts to maintain discipline in the classroom.

    Teacher leadership

     Q6.1 a
    Teachers are recognized as educational experts.

     Q6.1 c
    Teachers are relied on to make decisions about educational issues.

    School leadership

     Q7.1 a
    The faculty and staff have a shared vision.

     Q7.1 k
    The faculty are recognized for accomplishments.

    Professional development

     Q8.1 e
    Professional development is differentiated to meet the individual needs of teachers.

     Q8.1 j
    Professional development provides ongoing opportunities for teachers to work with colleagues to refine teaching practices.


    Overall, my school is a good place to work and learn.

    Summary Results Comparison.

    aSelected items from North Carolina’s Teacher Working Conditions Initiative (n.d.).

    Table 1.



    Table 2.


    Students total (Grades 6-8)

    Socioeconomically disadvantaged students

    Language arts pass rates (all)

    Math pass rates (all)

    Teacher retention rate

    Jefferson Middle School Summary Overview.

    Table 2.


    Media for this publication are not available for display.

    Supplementary materials for this publication are not available for display.

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Assignment: Leading Change With Data and Collaboration

All members of Mayor Keller’s task force are committed to improving Grand City’s educational system and community from the perspective representative of his or her institution, role, or specialized expertise. The Grand City community at large is excited about the work being done and proposed by the task force. News of the changes has been spreading throughout the state and garnering interest among leaders in many of the surrounding communities. How might you address questions or concerns from others looking to become agents of change? What insights have you gained in your work on the task force to encourage others to make decisions based on the data?

For this Assignment, you will develop a motivational video for communities outside of Grand City planning their own initiatives for change.

Important Note: You will be required to upload your video file (and transcript) to the Module 3 Discussion 1 thread (Day 3 of Week 5) after submitting it as an Assignment in this module.

To prepare:

· Review the Cho et al. (2015) case study related to the installation of data systems in a school district. Consider how this example examines the challenges inherent in technological and organizational change.

· Review the Guidera (2015), Chenoweth (2015), and Marsh & Farrell (2015) articles. Think about the arguments for and against educational change based on data. How might you encourage others to support the use of data-informed decision making for educational and social change?

· Review the Sterrett and Irizarry (2015) and Morel (2014) articles. Reflect on the strengths of working collaboratively with all stakeholders as well as any challenges that might need to be overcome.

· In the City Hall location in Grand City, review the 
District Collaboration for Change video. Imagine you are a member of the Grand City task force. How might you use what you have explored thus far with regard to change, collaboration, and data-informed decision making to motivate the neighboring district superintendent’s staff, faculty, and community leaders in their change efforts?

· Review the information regarding how to decrease the size of a video file and upload a video to a Discussion Forum in the Kaltura Media Uploader link under Course Home.

By Day 7 of Week 4

Create a 5- to 7-minute motivational video in which you explain:

· Who you are and the specialization expertise you represent on Mayor Keller’s task force.

· The importance of being an educational agent of change and why you believe collecting and interpreting data is essential to the role of educational leader of change.

· The importance of collaboration among cross-specialization groups working to make meaningful change, and why data-informed decision making is essential for a collaborative group to initiate and implement plans for educational and community change.

· Summarize the key points of your presentation.

Create a Word transcript of your video and citations to resources to meet ADA requirements.

Submit the Word transcript of your video and citations.





GRAND CITY (waldenu.edu)

Also send me the link to the video

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