It's All About the Data
Information and management tools for today's school districts
Data on Demand
We've assembled some advice from those who have taken on a technology makeover that is fast becoming a common experience for more and more school districts across the country. While the districts interviewed here generally are doing well with their SIS plans, there is no shortage of examples of those that are struggling with implementing major information technology changes. The process can be full of pitfalls for school boards and school district leaders.
School districts and state education agencies have collected and stored vast amounts of student data for years. Unfortunately, this data was often stored in ways that were inaccessible to most practitioners, creating a situation in which schools were data rich but also information poor. Recently emerging technology is changing these circumstances, with the advent of data warehousing and presentation tools that allow for fast, efficient organization and delivery of information.
A good school district management information system can be the crown jewel of your education resources. It's already an indispensable tool in managing and generating the mountains of data required by law and grant programs. But the technology has the potential to do more than data processing: It can produce invaluable information for critical and strategic education decision making.
Piloting a statewide information system is difficult but worth the effort.
Mining the Data
Some districts are using data to help their teachers change how they teach, create better professional development, and make a myriad of other improvements. Some even use data to drive their budget decisions.Here are four school districts that have found effective ways to collect and access their data, as well as how to use that information to improve instruction and achievement for their students.