Data Use With Insight and Integrity



Benny Gooden


W. Edwards Deming’s quotation “In God we trust; all others must bring data” seems to be the mantra of those who would reform public education — including many inside the education community. Yet the fond embrace of volumes of data that schools collect, store and manipulate actually may be a defense mechanism to counteract a plethora of competing change agendas and to thwart those who promote them.

In elevating all manner of data to the education equivalent of the Holy Grail, we may be falling into the trap that Albert Einstein contemplated when he wrote, “Not everything that counts can be counted. Not everything that can be counted counts.”

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