This email would be appropriate for an educator leader to send a data system/report provider to advocate for the Over-the-Counter Data Content Standards.

 

Dear Data System/Report Provider,

 

I noticed our district’s data system and reports do not adhere to the Over-the-Counter Data Content Standards that stipulate research-based practices for including effective and timely content in education data reports. Adherence to these Content standards is necessary to best support educators’ easy use and thorough understanding of reports’ data. Consider:

 

  • Students, parents, teachers, and administrators need data presented in a way that clearly answers questions being posed and points toward a specific action within the data consumer’s means (U.S. Dept. of Education OET, 2012).
  • Education data reporting tools should provide the information users need, when they need it, and in the format they need; hundreds of reports is overwhelming, difficult to use, and does not meet specific user needs (SAS Institute, 2013).
  • The timeliness of score reporting is critical to a data source's ability to impact instruction (Faxon-Mills, Hamilton, Rudnick, & Stecher, 2013).

 

Please attune our data system/reports to adhere to the research-based Over-the-Counter Data Content Standards. These resources can help you:

 

  • Over-the-Counter Data Standards are available at www.overthecounterdata.com/s/OTCDStandards.pdf (the Content standards are on pages 12-13, followed by a paper with related research).
  • Read the book How to Make Data Easy: A Guide for Edtech Providers to Improve Data Tools & Support so Data Becomes Easy to Use, by Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin. This guide explains how to implement each reporting standard within a data system/report (offering specific examples, illustrations, etc.).

 

Thank you very much for your time and assistance. Adhering to these standards will offer tremendous help to educators and students.

 

- Me

 

Faxon-Mills, S., Hamilton, L. S., Rudnick, M., & Stecher, B. M. (2013). New assessments, better instruction? Designing assessment systems to promote instructional improvement. Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR354.html

SAS Institute. (2013). Best practices in information management, reporting and analytics for education. Retrieved from https://fs24.formsite.com/edweek/form15/secure_index.html

U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology (2012). Enhancing teaching and learning through educational data mining and learning analytics: An issue brief. Washington, D.C.: Author.