An Evidence-Centered Approach to Using Assessment Data for Policymakers

Underwood, Jody S.; Zapata-Rivera, Diego; VanWinkle, Waverely
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student achievement professional development evidence-centered design ECD educational policy


District-level policymakers are challenged to use evidence of student achievement to make policy decisions, such as professional development and other school improvement plans. They currently receive reports of student achievement data that are complex, difficult to read, and even harder to interpret. Using the research literature on policymakers’ use of data and conducting focus groups and interviews, we elicited information on their roles and responsibilities, as well as questions these people would like to have answered from achievement data. We propose an evidence-centered reporting framework to help policymakers determine which data they need, in order to design a series of reports that will answer their questions and to help them make sense of the data in support of policy decisions.

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