The Value of #Eddata

EDdataLately, we’ve been hearing a lot about the “dangers” of education data collection and the need to slow or even stop information gathering. A new study, as reported in the Chronicle of Education, highlights just how valuable good education data can be, particularly when it comes to helping low-income students transition into postsecondary education.

As the researchers demonstrate, additional student data can be incredibly valuable in determining whether a student has the desire, the grit, or the self motivation to succeed in college. A student is more than just a single test score, whether it be the SAT or the ACT. And sometimes, even a GPA doesn’t tell the full story.

The research detailed by the Chronicle is important because it demonstrates the positive impact good education data can have on the student and the student’s future paths. One of the reasons that ERCA works with so many schools and educators to determine student career interests is because such information can be eye opening for a student or a family. Sometimes, it takes a fresh look at an ongoing situation to see what is possible and what opportunities are available.

It is incredibly important that student data is protected and that student rights are respected. Both are core tenets to the ERCA survey process. But it is equally important that young people have a clear understanding of what is available to them in the future, be it college or career. Without the data the Chronicle reported on, too many low-income students may have never had the opportunity to attend college. That would be the real danger.

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