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ERIC Number: EJ941669
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0192-592X
Swimming with Data
Schaffhauser, Dian
T.H.E. Journal, v38 n8 p32-34, 36-37 Sep 2011
It's not exactly a well-kept secret: Despite the drumbeat for data that has echoed through the jungles of education for over a decade, its nuanced use to make decisions for students is rare. And even though state and national longitudinal data initiatives from the US Department of Education (ED) have increased the pressure, relatively few schools or districts are actually spending the time or resources to work with the available data to pinpoint areas for student improvement. The problem is not a lack of data. There's a public perception that schools are swimming in an ocean of data, but the data isn't in formats or systems that make it easy for them to actually take it out and use it. Furthermore, despite that ocean of data, there may be only a few key pieces of information that a district needs to really put data-driven decision-making to work. How does a district find and apply it? The simple answer is: not on its own. Many districts in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest region have discovered the advantage of tapping the expertise of an organization like an REL that can collect and massage data, marry it to appropriate research practices, and help districts then apply it to their own needs. This article discusses how districts in Texas and Arkansas--and now Louisiana--are learning to swim with data with the help of REL Southwest. (Contains 7 online resources.)
1105 Media, Inc. Available from: T.H.E. Journal Magazine. P.O. Box 2170, Skokie, IL 60076. Tel: 866-293-3194; Tel: 866-886-3036; Fax: 847-763-9564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas; Louisiana; Texas