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ERIC Number: EJ1006697
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1784
Data: No Deus ex Machina
Hess, Frederick M.; Mehta, Jal
Educational Leadership, v70 n5 p71-75 Feb 2013
Data-based decision making is all the rage. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (2009) has emphatically declared, "I am a deep believer in the power of data to drive our decisions. Data gives us the roadmap to reform. It tells us where we are, where we need to go, and who is most at risk." In the past few years, all 50 states have adopted most or all of the Data Quality Campaign's framework for state data systems. In important respects, this is a welcome development. Data expose inequities, create transparency, and help drive organizational improvement. But something is amiss. Many educators regard talk of data-based decision making as an external imposition, sensing new obligations and what they see as a push to narrow schooling to test scores and graduation rates. Data can be a powerful tool. But one must recognize that collecting data is not "using" data; that data are an input into judgment rather than a replacement for it; that data can inform but not resolve difficult questions of politics and values; and that the country needs better ways to measure what matters, rather than valuing those things it can measure.
ASCD. 1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714. Tel: 800-933-2723; Tel: 703-578-9600; Fax: 703-575-5400; Web site: http://www.ascd.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A