Amy Jackson
Jan 9, 2018
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The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) marks a significant shift in federal education policy that grants states greater flexibility to determine how to close achievement gaps and provide equitable paths to success for all students. 

But with this flexibility also comes greater responsibility.

In a recent report, Opportunities to Make Data Work for Students in the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Data Quality Campaign made it clear that under ESSA, districts and schools can - and should - capitalize on this opportunity to go beyond compliance with their data and focus on continuous improvement for their students. 

Now that ESSA accountability plans have been submitted by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, educators across the country are preparing for new expectations and opportunities when it comes to making their data actionable.  

Making the move 

Though data-based decision making has been a core best practice for years, its reach has often been limited.  ESSA’s expanded definition of student achievement and incorporation of multiple measures of student achievement and success make it more important than ever for student data to guide decisions at all levels. 

And while this is certainly a step in the right direction, it has left many districts wondering how they can actually make it all happen.

According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, access to powerful data systems is key. In a recommendations memo submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, the Alliance stressed that the implementation and ultimate success of ESSA required districts to obtain and leverage powerful data systems.

These systems, such as IO Insights, offer districts and schools the tools they need to aggregate data from all sources for a holistic view of student performance.  A dynamic data analytics and reporting solution, IO Insights gives educators at all levels access to the specific data and functionality they need.  Districts and school leaders can visualize data, including reports, dashboards and metrics, to address federal, state, or local requirements and inform administrative decisions, while teachers can connect data directly to instruction and take meaningful action toward improving student outcomes.

Below: IO Insights leverages Microsoft Power BI for advanced reporting and analytics

BI Report Behavior.pngAs we shared in a recent post, a large district in Texas has already been using IO Insights to build a culture of data for continuous improvement. In describing the impact of IO Insights in his school, principal Jimmy Bowser explained, “Not only has this helped build a more data-driven culture across the school, it has instilled a collective responsibility for student achievement.”

Below: The Plans feature in IO Insights enables educators to connect data directly to instruction and track progress toward goals.

Plans-laptop.pngWhile ESSA has empowered state and districts to take the reins of how to improve and measure student achievement, it requires a vastly more sophisticated collection and use of data to go beyond just compliance. We’re excited IO Insights is helping educators seize this opportunity for the success of all students. 

Learn more about how IO Insights can help your district go beyond compliance with data.

Topics: Policy & Accountability Data Analytics District/School Leadership