SDP Case Study: Changing the Culture of Data Use in Delaware: How State Leaders Used Analytics to Create Education Policies That Matter

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Following its successful bid for Race to the Top funds in 2010, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) underwent a series of structural changes, including a partnership with Harvard to create data fellowships and a more robust culture around data and analytics. This case study chronicles that partnership, and how leveraging analytics helped to gain momentum for education reform in the state. The DDOE and Harvard fellows created diagnostics that focused on human capital and college readiness, and launched an informal campaign to disseminate their findings to the public. Among several other findings, the data revealed that the least experienced teachers would most likely be assigned to struggling students, and that obtaining a master’s degree had no effect on an individual teacher’s performance. Ultimately, this work created an increased demand for data and led to the passage of important education legislation in 2013.

Read it here.