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Implement, Improve and Expand Your Statewide Longitudinal Data System: Creating a Culture of Data in Education by Armistead W. Sapp, Jamie McQuiggan

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CHAPTER 11

A Culture of Data: Using Longitudinal Data to Solve Big Problems

As hard as it is to establish and implement an SLDS (statewide longitudinal data system), it’s “easier than changing how people value and use education data,” according to the Data Quality Campaign (DQC).1 Changing the organizational culture of schools is a huge task, but it’s an important one to make to fully realize the potential of an SLDS. This shift is systemic in nature, meaning every part of the system is affected and must move in the same direction together. Reliance on one part of the system doesn’t lead to success; it requires thinking of each of the recommendations and steps in creating an SLDS as interdependent and important. The burden for a dramatic cultural shift belongs on all of the parts of the system. Likewise, though this book is dealing with statewide LDSs, we recognize that the way data are treated at the school level has a substantial impact on teacher data use, and cultures can vary widely from school to school. Administrators have a powerful role and responsibility to lead the school toward a culture of data; data literacy at the leadership level holds great potential in ushering in a new era of decision making. Creating a culture of data for educators and administrators is an ongoing task, forcing the system to embrace change and technology while repudiating the status quo. Proactive data usage enables more accurate warning systems, better individual outcomes and a better microscope ...

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