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ERIC Number: ED497511
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 77
Abstractor: ERIC
Getting the Evidence for Evidence-Based Initiatives: How the Midwest States Use Data Systems to Improve Education Processes and Outcomes. Issues & Answers. REL 2007-No. 016
McDonald, Sarah-Kathryn; Andal, Jolynne; Brown, Kevin; Schneider, Barbara
Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest
Educational improvement through data-based decision-making using high-quality data is a longstanding goal of policymakers and practitioners, and ensuring the quality of the evidence available to inform such decisions is a key part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The evidence-based education that such initiatives promote involves the "integration of professional wisdom with the best available empirical evidence in making decisions about how to deliver instruction." A wealth of data at the school, district, state, and federal levels should in principle provide an empirical basis for developing educational policies, practices, and research proposals and designs. The states in the Midwest Region are developing innovative practices for identifying and addressing information priorities within their states and for meeting federal requirements. These practices involve establishing longitudinal student-level and teacher-level data collections and linking data across the educational information system. Other practices include incorporating key data elements that can leverage other data resources to identify problems that could constrain student achievement and using accountability systems to target educational resources more efficiently and effectively. Midwest states also face challenges in meeting these goals. Data collection staff and resources for training at the local level are limited, and many states do not have enough staff with the skills and experience necessary to analyze the data. Keeping the duplication of data collection to a minimum is also a constant challenge. Finally, federal and state regulations often constrain states' ability to collect key data elements. Given these challenges and constraints, responding to states' information needs and aspirations may best be achieved through a two-pronged approach. First is to establish regional benchmarks and provide guidelines for states wishing to use local data to develop indicators for purposes of comparison. Second is to respond to specific state requests for analytic resources and develop associated training materials. Both tasks have the explicit goals of providing immediate utility and building capacity for the future. Each may usefully be addressed by the regional educational laboratories--singly, in combination, and with external partners. The following are appended: (1) Methods; (2) Illinois; (3) Indiana; (4) Iowa; (5) Michigan; (6) Minnesota; (7) Ohio; (8) Wisconsin; and (9) Instructions for Accessing the State Data Inventories. (Contains 4 notes, 1 box, and 9 tables.) [This report was prepared for the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest administered by Learning Point Associates, Inc.]
Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest. 1120 East Diehl Road Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60563. Tel: 866-730-6735; Fax: 630-649-6700; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Michigan; Minnesota; Ohio; Wisconsin
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
IES Funded: Yes
IES Cited: ED544213