Blog: The Educated Reporter

A teacher takes data into his own hands.

I know a lot of teachers who are dissatisfied with the amount and quality of information they get from their school districts’ data systems. This week, Anna Phillips of Gotham Schools writes about one who took matters into his own hands, developing a database for his Bronx high school that meshed the information the city tracks with further details—including personal anecdotes about children—that teachers felt they needed.

Any administrator will tell you their school is all about “data-based decision-making,” but it’s up to reporters to discern whether that is really the case. What information do educators get from their official systems, what data do they track on their own, and how do they actually use that data to adapt what they are doing? What barriers stand in the way? What giant chunks of important information do they wish they had but don’t get?

Lots to write about data systems, current and future—an element that did, if you recall, make up 9 percent of the scoring rubric for Race to the Top.