Parents and Teachers Agree on Value of Data Use for Education

By Dian Schaffhauser | The Journal |

While a big majority of parents (95 percent) supported teachers’ use of data to make sure their children are getting “all the support and enrichment they need,” fewer (71 percent) agreed that they know what information the school is collecting about their kids or how it’s being used. On the educator side, while most teachers found that data helps them identify learning goals (87 percent), slightly more than half (52 percent) said their biggest obstacle was a lack the time to use data effectively. These results came from a pair of surveys undertaken on behalf of the Data Quality Campaign by Harris Poll.

The polling company surveyed 914 parents of children ages 5 to 17, most of whom attend school. Around the same time (May 2018) Harris also surveyed 762 full-time teachers, all employed in teaching grades K-12. This is the third time DQC has polled parents and the first time it has queried teachers about topics related to data usage in schools. DQC is a non-profit that advocates for the informed and secure use of data to raise education outcomes.

On the parent side, nine in 10 (94 percent) wanted teachers to use data, including grades, attendance and test scores, to help personalize their children’s learning experience. Parents also have more trust in schools to keep the data private and secure; that’s grown from 81 percent in 2015 to 87 percent in 2018.

Also, 90 percent of parents found school performance report card results at least somewhat influential in their school-related decision-making. However, while states are required to release school district report cards, including information related to quality and performance, that include such information as student attendance, test scores and teacher qualifications, the resource doesn’t appeal to everybody. The survey found that two in five parents (42 percent) haven’t reviewed such a report card in the past year; and among those, two in five weren’t aware that such reports existed.

Read more at The Journal.