UChicago Impact's Co-CEO Elliot Ransom co-authored a two-part blog series on using holistic data to inform school improvement for NWEA’s Teach. Learn. Grow. blog. Read the first post, "Why success depends on having the right mix of data—and how you use it" here.
While academic and outcome data are necessary indicators for improvement, they aren’t sufficient on their own to bring about the significant changes in learning conditions that are often needed to produce better student outcomes. Simply put, outcome data doesn’t identify root causes of persistent problems. Low test scores tell educators that students are struggling to retain and demonstrate specific academic content knowledge and skills, but they don’t say much about the dynamics in the school—say, the relationships between teachers and students—that may be hindering student learning.