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Study: Arkansas Provides Parents And Teachers Better Access To Data

school exams

A new report by the Data Quality Campaign, or DQC, highlights the work done in Arkansas to improve student achievement through the use of educational data.

The DQC is a nonpartisan national advocacy group and its recent state-by-state analysis offers new details about the way Arkansas elected officials, teachers, and school administrators have instituted data-sharing policies that aid student performance in early childhood education, K – 12, and postsecondary schools. Aimee Guidera oversees the work of the DQC.

“For too long stakeholders in education were making decisions by hunch and by anecdote and now, through the power of data, policymakers can make decisions based on what actually is working,” Guidera said.

Guidera says the ability to tailor and personalize learning is the exciting part of using the educational data.  She says Arkansas is a prime example of a state where leaders increasingly recognize that empowering parents, educators, and policymakers with the right data at the right time in the right format better ensures young people graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education and careers.   

According to the DQC, Arkansas and Delaware are the best examples of states that are effectively using education data to improve student outcomes. The report outlines the ways Arkansas aids student achievement and teacher training through the distribution and use of important data.

The information collected includes enrollment, attendance, demographic, and transcript data like courses and grades

Guidera says Arkansas and four other states provide teachers with access to their students’ data through cutting edge secure, Web-based portals that integrate state and local data and are customizable at the local level.

Arkansas is very much trying to keep up with the increasing information needs that stakeholders have. The state is continually setting up portals to meet the needs of students,” said Guidera.

Guidera says Arkansas will continue to lead the way, but the state needs to focus more on data literacy for parents and educators. She says more can be done to help people have access to information and use it in a way to change education outcomes.  

Malcolm Glover was a news anchor/ reporter for KUAR News from 2007- 2014.