High-stakes accountability policies such as the federal No Child Left Behind legislation require districts and schools to use data to measure progress toward standards. In doing so, such policies assume that practitioners can and will use data to enhance decisionmaking and improve teaching and learning. However, educators use and make sense of data in different ways and with different rigor and frequency. Drawing on earlier RAND Corporation studies, the authors investigate the different ways in which educators understand the concept of data-driven decisionmaking (DDDM), the factors that enable or constrain DDDM, and associated implications for policy and practice. The authors conclude that if policymakers want to encourage educators to pursue DDDM — particularly its more-complex forms — they should focus policy supports on improving the availability, timeliness, and comprehensiveness of data; helping educators access external resources; and providing professional development options, including training. Finally, policymakers must acknowledge that the DDDM process is not straightforward.
Reprinted with permission from Evidence and Decision Making: Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Volume 106, Issue 1, Chapter 5, pp. 105-131. Copyright © 2008 National Society for the Study of Education.
Originally published in: Evidence and Decision Making: Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Vol 106, Issue 1, Chapter 5, pp. 105-131, 2007.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.