Laird, E. (2008). Tapping into the power of longitudinal data: A guide for school leaders. National Center for Educational Accountability, Data Quality Campaign. http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/files/publications-tapping_into_the_power_of_longitudinal_data-a_guide_for_school_leaders-010108.pdf
This article explores how school administrators and teachers can use a statewide data system to improve student outcomes. The article begins with a list of 10 essential elements for a comprehensive statewide longitudinal data system (e.g., a unique statewide identifier for each student, an audit system assessing data quality, validity, and reliability). Next, the authors review how teachers, administrators, and policymakers can use a high-quality data system to better support student learning and achievement, focusing on progress monitoring, diagnosis and prescription, internal and external benchmarking, predictive analysis, and evaluation. They emphasize the importance of analyzing growth in student academic performance over time to identify areas for improvement. They also describe how to use longitudinal data in conjunction with snapshot data to more accurately determine where intervention or remediation should take place (e.g., professional development for individual teachers, grade-level intervention, student-level tutoring or remediation, etc.). The article concludes with six action steps (e.g., participate in and provide professional development opportunities to help educators learn to use data to improve student performance) for school leaders working to build and use longitudinal data systems.
Benchmark Assessment, Data Systems, Multi-level Data Use