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Data as a Flashlight

We’re very excited about a new report, "Measuring Up: Improving the Use of Data in RCSD", just released by the Center for Governmental Research reviewing in detail some of the exemplary work with data systems happening in Rochester, New York. While the report acknowledges the current emphasis on using data for accountability, its primary focus is to highlight how data can “act as a flashlight as much as a hammer, used not just to identify problems but also to illuminate possible solutions.”  The report does an excellent job describing how data can be used to improve instruction on the school level as well as at the district level. The concepts presented are applicable across all districts.

Stressing the need for districts to look at data around resources use, the report highlights some interesting results from ERS’ recent work in the district. It correctly stresses the need for coordination, access, and integrity around data systems in order for these systems to be effective and includes examples from Rochester that illustrate the challenges in all of these areas. 

How is your district using data? Have you expanded your use of data to include using it to improve performance? 


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