Data Use and Educational Improvement Initiative Activities

In 2010, the Spencer Foundation convened a group of scholars for a series of three meetings on issues of data use in education. The meetings included scholars with different disciplinary backgrounds and interest areas, and included those who focus on both K-12 or higher education. For the meetings, each participant wrote and presented a paper on a specific topic.

Following the meetings, there was interest in disseminating the papers more widely. Some of the papers with complementary themes and topics have been included in special issues of the American Journal of Education and Teachers College Record, guest edited by University of California, Berkeley, School of Education faculty member, Cynthia Coburn, and Spencer Foundation program director, Andrea Conklin Bueschel. In addition, the remaining authors have pursued other publication opportunities.

The authors and papers are listed below, and, where available, we include links to the publications. As we are able, we plan to make available here those papers not published elsewhere.

The Practice of Data Use

The Practice of Data Use, a special issue of the American Journal of Education, volume 118, no. 2 (February 2012) click here.

“The Practice of Data Use: An Introduction” Cynthia E. Coburn, University of California, Berkeley, and Erica O. Turner, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“Data in Practice: Conceptualizing the Data-Based Decision-Making Phenomena” James P. Spillane, Northwestern University

“Understanding Data Use Practice among Teachers: The Contribution of Micro-Process Studies” Judith Warren Little, University of California, Berkeley

“Performance Metrics as Formal Structures and through the Lens of Social Mechanisms: When Do They Work and How Do They Influence?” Jeannette A. Colyvas, Northwestern University

“School–Central Office Relationships in Evidence Use: Understanding Evidence Use as a Systems Problem“ Meredith I. Honig and Nitya Venkateswaran, University of Washington

“Exploring the Macro-Micro Dynamic in Data Use Practice” (Commentary) Pamela A. Moss, University of Michigan

“Data, Data, and More Data—What’s an Educator to Do?” (Commentary) Paul Goren, Collaborative for Educational, Social, and Emotional Learning

Promoting Data Use in Education: Promises and Pitfalls

Promoting Data Use in Education: Promises and Pitfalls, a special issue of Teachers College Record, Volume 114, Number 11, 2012, click here.

“Interventions to Promote Data Use: An Introduction” Erica Turner, University of Wisconsin, Madison and Cynthia Coburn, University of California, Berkeley

“The Politics of Data Use” Jeff Henig, Teachers College

“Interventions Promoting Educators’ Use of Data: Research Insights and Gaps” Julie Marsh, University of Southern California

“Data, Dyads, and Dynamics: Exploring Data Use and Social Networks in Educational Improvement” Alan Daly, University of California, San Diego

“The Effects of Accountability System Design on Teachers’ Use of Test Score Data” Jennifer Jennings, New York University

“Getting at Student Understanding—The Key to Teacher Use of Assessment Data” Jon Supovitz, University of Pennsylvania

Additional Papers:

“Using Information in Higher Education Decision-Making: Modes, Obstacles, and Remedies” Peter Ewell, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. For a copy of this paper, click here.

“Technologies for Learning and Learners: How Data Are (and Are Not) Changing Schools” Rich Halverson and Ben Shapiro, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“Meaningful Education Reform with Data Requires Attention to Organizational Dynamics” Adrianna Kezar, University of Southern California

“The Misunderstanding and Use of Data from Educational Tests” Dan Koretz, Harvard University and Jennifer Jennings, New York University. For a copy of this paper, click here.

“Interventions to Promote Data Use in Higher Education: Fertile Ground for Research” Alexander McCormick and Jillian Kinzie, Indiana University, Bloomington