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Thompson: Using Data - Not Being Used By It

Tumblr_la1f5bFgTH1qdpdrro1_500  I expect my doctor to accurately report the results of a blood pressure test. That does not mean that I should trust the claims of the health insurance lobby. Similarly the best way for school systems to minimize the unintended effects of NCLB would have been to keep two sets of books, with a firewall between the two sets of data. That way, districts could have played games with numbers generated for "accountability," and still maintained reputable databases for decision-making purposes. Reading Bill Tucker’s excellent Ed Sector report, "Putting Data Into Practice," I was convinced that systems need to invest whatever it takes to follow Tucker’s recommendations. We probably would need to allow states to build sophisticated computer systems, and play whatever statistical games they want, to conform to the politics of the RttT. Then, we should invest an equal amount in usable diagnostic data systems and the honest culture of collaboration that Tucker seeks. - jt

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