Superintendents Want Access to Data, New National Polling Finds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
James Minichello
703-774-6953
jminichello@aasa.org

Alexandria, Va. – September 20, 2022 – From education to the workforce, the pandemic has impacted how individuals make decisions—and whether they are students or superintendents, they want more and better data. The Data Quality Campaign’s (DQC) 2022 public opinion polling—in partnership with AASA, The School Superintendents Association, underscores that superintendents want access to data to support decision making about the future.

“Individuals at every level are asking for more data—and states, districts and schools should be working together to make sure they have access to the data they need to make decisions. Students have sent us a clear message that, at minimum, they should have access to data on their own progress and the pathways available to them when they leave high school. And without access to quality data in ways that are useful to them, superintendents can’t support these students on their journeys,” said Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger, president and CEO, DQC. “Data that is easy for all users to find, understand and act on is paramount. State leaders must prioritize modernizing their data systems to ensure that data works for everyone who needs it to make decisions.”

DQC’s national superintendent poll was developed with AASA and conducted by The Harris Poll. The public opinion research surveyed district superintendents to find out how they are using data to support their students and schools. Superintendents shared that data is an important part of their decision making—it provides insights about student and school performance and instills confidence that their students are on track for success. But whether it is provided by schools or their state, superintendents want access to more data. The poll found:

  • Ninety percent of superintendents feel that if they had better access to information, they would be more confident in their abilities to make decisions for their district.
  • Ninety-nine percent of superintendents feel that state data could be more useful. Relevant state data could be made more beneficial with tools to help superintendents act on the information and more training and ongoing support for analyzing, reporting and communicating the data.
  • Ninety-three percent of superintendents have started collecting new data during the pandemic.
    • Nearly all (94 percent) who have initiated new data collection agree: the new data is giving them useful information and insights.
    • Despite new data collection efforts, one in four superintendents is still looking for greater access to data to support students, reporting that they have some of the data they need to understand their district. Of those, more than half want data from their states on the outcomes of their districts’ students after they leave high school. 

“Superintendents value data and want better access to it. They are asking for additional information to more confidently make decisions for their districts and support their students through school and into postsecondary education and the workforce,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA.  “These results should be a message to state leaders that they must make it a priority to work with superintendents to ensure they are providing superintendents with actionable information and the training to use it.”

These student and superintendent surveys were conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of the Data Quality Campaign from June 6 to June 13, 2022. Student polling was conducted among 1,007 high school students, ages 14–18, in the United States who attend public school or public charter school. Superintendent polling was conducted among 253 full-time superintendents in the United States, all of whom were currently employed in school districts featuring grades K–12.

For more information on DQC’s 2022 national polling, visit DQC’s website.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.

About the Data Quality Campaign
The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a nonprofit policy and advocacy organization leading the effort to bring every part of the education community together to empower educators, families, and policymakers with quality information to make decisions that ensure that students excel. For more information, go to dataqualitycampaign.org and follow DQC on Facebook and Twitter.