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Breaking New Ground: Data Systems Transform Family Engagement in Education
Heather B. Weiss, M. Elena Lopez, & Deborah R. Stark
PTA President Chuck Saylors discusses Breaking New Ground with co-author Elena Lopez from Harvard Family Research Project.
For more information about using student data to engage families, please see the following resources from HFRP:
Harvard Family Research Project and the National PTA® have teamed up to bring you the second issue in our series of ground-breaking policy briefs. While the first brief, Seeing is Believing, looked at a variety of innovative practices to promote family engagement, Breaking New Ground: Data Systems Transform Family Engagement in Education narrows its focus to highlight sharing student data as a way to engage families and improve parent–teacher communication.
This brief describes how investments in student data systems are taking family engagement and student achievement to a whole new level. In addition to addressing areas where a student most needs improvement, the data can serve as a catalyst for home–school communication. Parents benefit from having information about key indicators on which they can have an impact, like student attendance, growth in learning, and achievement. The information opens the door for meaningful conversations with teachers and students so that parents can make informed decisions and take action to improve performance, school climate, graduation rates, and other important issues that affect their child’s success.
Breaking New Ground cites six case studies from across the country that reveal innovative efforts by early childhood programs and school districts to use student data systems to improve family engagement. Each profile illustrates a segment of a data pathway beginning in early childhood and continuing through students' academic careers.
The brief also includes a set of policy recommendations to help support the current trends in education that focus on twenty-first century learning and the vital role of technology.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Below are examples of some of the data tools and other resources used by the school districts and programs discussed in this brief.
ARIS PARENT LINK
CREIGHTON SCHOOL DISTRICT
NEW VISIONS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
TOOLS OF THE MIND
WASHOE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND NEVADA STATE PIRC