This brief examines policies and practices concerning the use of data to inform school improvement strategies and to provide information for accountability. This twin-pronged movement, termed Data-Driven Improvement and Accountability (DDIA), can lead either to greater quality, equity and integrity, or to deterioration of services and distraction from core purposes. The question addressed by this brief is what factors and forces can lead DDIA to generate more positive and fewer negative outcomes in relation to both improvement and accountability.
The policy brief concludes with 12 recommendations for establishing more effective and productive systems and processes, derived from its analysis of the relevant research. A report containing model legislation follows, detailing a legal structure that would use data effectively to create a multi-level system of accountability designed for school improvement.