Idaho Doing More For Students Through Data

Dec 1, 2011

Idaho has doubled what it does to use data to improve student performance.  That’s according to a report that came Thursday by the Data Quality Campaign. This national nonprofit encourages states to use long term data to set educational policy.

Aimee Guidera  “So often data is equated with being a high stakes test score, and yes test scores are very important, but they are only one snapshot in time.”

Aimee Guidera heads up the Data Quality Campaign. She says longitudinal data tracks student performance based on multiple measures over many years. The group evaluates states based on ten elements and ten actions. The elements have to do with data infrastructure, what states keep track of and how they keep track of it, such as student transcripts that show every class taken.

The actions are what states do with this information to help students. Idaho now has the ten elements. In 2005 the state had only two. Guidera says this is one of the best improvements out of all the states. But Idaho still only does four of the ten actions. Guidera thinks the state should focus on a couple of ideas.

Aimee Guidera “To change licensure and certification policies to ensure that every single teacher has competency to know how to access and use data.”

Guidera’s second suggestion is Idaho’s schools of education should receive feedback on how graduates are doing in the classroom.