This piece from the 74 million by Rotherham and O’Keefe, details extensively why we need great data for families:

If parents don’t find data on their school useful or usable, it is a big missed opportunity. Despite decades of data showing that far too many students are not getting the education they need and deserve, a survey just last week from Learning Heroes found that 90 percent of parents think their child is on track in school. At the same time, the Data Quality Campaign recently found that only 38 percent of parents strongly agree that they have easy access to the information they need about their child’s education.

Families and communities need this data because often schools aren’t sharing it.  The Learning Heroes poll is telling – that 9/10 parents think their kids are on grade level when the numbers show significantly less than that. Parents and families deserve honesty from schools and districts about their performance.

I especially like the part of the piece they discuss access and usability – key parts of the Right to Know coalition’s objectives – and how states and districts need to get serious about sharing good data with families:

At the very least, most states should overhaul their shamefully bad websites to provide better information for parents, who are, at least ostensibly, stakeholders. What metrics could families find useful? Among others, information about parent satisfaction, climate, course availability, school themes and focus, attendance — of both teachers and students — and test scores in a context in which parents can easily use and understand them, such as easy comparisons to state, district, and school averages, and their own child’s performance.

Yes! We need this data available in many languages, in easy to digest ways and with an ability for all families to access.

I loved the closing argument as well:

The people saying that parents don’t need data are wrong. But parents need information designed and communicated with their needs in mind, and that may be different than what the policymakers designing accountability systems want and need. Rather than trying to get one accountability system to do everything, states should give parents the right tools for their job — supporting their child.

Exactly.  Parents and families have the #rightoknow – now we need systems to ensure that can guarentee that right.

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