Getting the Right Data to the Right People: How to Present and Communicate Data to Educators, Administrators, and the Public

Getting the Right Data to the Right People: How to Present and Communicate Data to Educators, Administrators, and the Public
Getting the Right Data to the Right People: How to Present and Communicate Data to Educators, Administrators, and the Public


The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) and the Data Quality Campaign (DQC)  are leading a site visit and learning exchange to Little Rock, Arkansas entitled, “Getting the Right Data to the Right People: How to Present and Communicate Data to Educators, Administrators, and the Public.”  This event will focus on effective strategies for providing timely, role-based access to state longitudinal data systems to all stakeholders while protecting privacy.  Our interactive learning sessions will engage policymakers to explore how to:

  • Engage and Communicate With Stakeholders
  • Match Data Access with User Needs
  • Communicate a Culture of Data Use
  • Align and Support Data Access and Use at the Local Level
  • Plan for Sustainability

Click here to view the full Participant List for this Study Mission




Overview of portals for user access to education data in participating states


Presenter Presentations


Preparation Materials for DQC/AYPF Study Mission

This webpage contains a collection of resources related to the Data Quality Campaign’s State Action 5 – “implement systems to provide all stakeholders with timely access to the information they need while protecting student privacy” – and is intended to prepare participants for the DQC and American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) field trip on April 25-27 in Little Rock, Arkansas. In preparation for the event, please be sure to read the ‘Inaugural Overview of States’ Actions to Leverage Data to Improve Student Success,’ as well as the state profiles included belowWe also recommend that you review the additional resources listed below. Please note that with the exception of the ‘Inaugural Overview,’ hard copies will not be distributed in Little Rock. We encourage you to print these resources for your reference.

Inaugural Overview of States’ Actions to Leverage Data to Improve Student Success

The DQC 10 Essential Elements and 10 State Actions provide states a common roadmap to reach the goal of becoming an information-based enterprise. In 2009-10 in addition to reporting on the 10 Elements, for the first time, the DQC survey asked questions about the 10 State Actions that are vital to using longitudinal data for continuous improvement. This list of 10 Actions is not exhaustive—it is designed to push states beyond their current practices and policies to change the culture around data use and to maximize states’ infrastructure investments. This inaugural overview reveals that states are just beginning to take the necessary steps. The majority of states (43) have implemented three or fewer of the DQC State Actions. Below are state profiles based on DQC 2009-10 Annual Survey results for all states participating in the learning exchange in Little Rock. A full list of state profiles may be found on the DQC website.

Delaware DQC 2009-10 State Profile


Colorado DQC 2009-10 State Profile


Louisiana DQC 2009-10 State Profile


Mississippi DQC 2009-10 State Profile


South Carolina DQC 2009-10 State Profile

Tennessee DQC 2009-10 State Profile


Texas DQC 2009-10 State Profile



What Does Role-Based Access Look Like? Examples from States

Throughout the past year (2009) the DQC has captured screen shots from multiple states leading the way in providing access to information for various stakeholders. The DQC believes that these data portals are a way to protect privacy through role-based access while providing appropriate levels of access for all stakeholders. State examples include a comprehensive approach by Arkansas and portals for various stakeholders from Colorado, Kansas, and a district in Texas.

How to Provide Timely and Secure Data Access: The State and District Perspective

DQC’s Action 5 encourages states to, “implement systems to provide all stakeholders with timely access to the information they need while protecting student privacy.” Without access to the right information, stakeholders are forced to make decisions based on anecdote, experience or instinct. For information to be useful, it must be timely, readily available, and easily understood. Data privacy can be protected by acknowledging that different stakeholders need access to different types of information and by assigning role-based access accordingly. This webcast highlights promising practices around DQC’s Action 5 from the state of Arkansas, the Cal-PASS systems in California, and Knox County Schools in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Data-Driven Districts: Building the Culture and Capacity To Improve Student Achievement

The DQC collaborated with APQC, a nonprofit, member-based organization working to help educators improve district processes, to conduct a benchmarking study, Best Practices in Data-Driven Decisionmaking. The 69 participating districts, including eight best-practice districts from across the nation, collaborated for six months to identify and understand what distinguishes characteristics of districts that are excelling at using data for making key operational and instructional decisions. This brief is an overview of the key findings from the study.

Reporting and Analysis Tools: Helping Mine Education Data for Information Riches

Reports and analytical tools are valuable only if they are used; therefore, they must be designed with the end-user at least in mind — but preferably with the end-user actually involved. Typical users of the reports and tools produced by the state include teachers, school and district administrators, state program area staff, and state-level policymakers, along with parents and students. Each group will have a different set of questions it wants answered, and standard reports produced by the state should address those questions. In addition, it is critical to display the data in such a way that the user can easily understand the report. Consequently, the state must include representatives of each group in the design of the reports and allow for regular feedback to improve the reports and tools over time. This policy brief demonstrates how to make data useful and accessible and outlines lessons learned from states implementing reporting and analysis tools.


State Examples

Along with the state examples included in the resources above, the DQC and AYPF are aware of the following promising practices around DQC’s Action 5.


Colorado: Colorado Growth Model

The Colorado Growth Model enables parents, schools, districts, and the state to understand how individual students are progressing from year to year and provides a common measure to show how much growth is needed for each student to reach state standards.

New York: Web site Lets Parents Track Data on Students

A Web site that offers an interactive portfolio of public school students’ test scores, grades and attendance rates became available for all parents at the end of June. On the site, parents will be able to view overall course grades and scores on state tests, but not individual scores on class assignments. They will also be able to see attendance histories and look at the probability of a student passing state math and English exams, based on how they have scored on periodic city tests. It will also show how their child is doing compared with children at schools serving similar student populations.

South Carolina: Connecting Policy and Data: What Are Your State’s Critical Policy Questions?

Building and maintaining data systems is not solely an IT project. Policymakers from across the P–20 spectrum (e.g., governors, legislators, chiefs, agency heads and postsecondary leaders) need to prioritize and elucidate the critical questions and issues that data systems must answer. All stakeholders, policymakers in particular, need to advise the IT team on what data should be collected, how the data should be defined, how often they need to be collected and how they need to be analyzed.  Only with this broad stakeholder involvement will the system collect and use relevant information.


Texas: Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Invests $10M in Data Initiative in Texas to Improve Student Achievement Statewide

The Dell family foundation announced a $10 million commitment to establish a Texas Student Data System (TSDS). The investment will support the delivery of a modern, flexible, powerful and actionable student-centric education data system for K-12 schools that educators can use to make decisions, predict performance levels and graduation rates, change the course of individual students at risk, and better prepare all students for college and beyond.

Contact Information

Andrea Browning

Program Associate

American Youth Policy Forum

1836 Jefferson Place, NW

Washington, DC 20036

Jennifer Lerner
Senior Director
American youth Policy Forum
1836 Jefferson Pl NW
Washington, DC 20036


The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.