How School Data Fails to Tell Us What’s Important


Teachers look for solutions. That’s what we do. But data collection often fails when it comes to solutions. You can collect all the information in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it, or it can’t be translated into something meaningful, the information is worthless.

That’s how I feel about yesterday’s article in U.S. News and World Report, “Where Poor Students Are Top of the Class” telling about students who are top test takers in schools along the Rio Grande River in Texas. Poor students are outperforming students from high income households. Ninety-five percent of students there are poor and 33 percent are still learning English. They also boast of a 90 percent graduation rate. The report looks at three school districts: McAllen, El Paso, and Brownsville.

When I see an article that says poor students are doing well in school, I want to know why. How are educators, parents, and these communities making this happen? What are they doing differently that other school districts can learn from?

Read more>>