- Schools are tapping into data analytics to do deep dives into how students and teachers are performing, with computer programs letting schools personalize follow up work for a specific pupil or help others move along faster.
- The data is also being used to assess teachers, determining who is less “effective” and assigning them additional training, writes Ed Tech Magazine — and teachers with students who do well on assessments, for example, can also earn bonuses.
- As districts spend more money on technology, from laptops and other devices to faster Wi-Fi, they want to know these tools are effective, and analytics can help them pull individual details while also finding larger trends to know their investments are turning into better learning outcomes for students.
By the time they’re in the third grade, children are well-schooled on assessments and how they are measured against the scores. Data is a normal part of any K-12 education, but it only tells part of the story. Districts can lean too heavily on numbers when making decisions, from designing curriculum based on student performance to deciding which students will get promoted — or won’t.
States are already pushing back, using assessments as guideposts, as they’re ideally meant to be, rather than as the element. New York State, for example, now gives students as much time as they need on the state English Language Arts, math and science tests they take through the 8th-grade, and scores are just one deciding factor in whether a student is allowed to move up with their classmates.
Data by itself is not bad. Information helps administrators build the best education they can for their students. But numbers are only a snapshot, a moment in time, which is why they should be used as a part of the solution when crafting a curriculum that educates the whole child.