You are seeing this message because your web browser does not support basic web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing and what you can do to make your experience on this site better.

The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

Terms of Use ▼

Data Driven: Making Student and School Data Accessible and Meaningful To Families

August 10, 2010, 3:30-5:00 p.m. (EDT) Click here to view an archive of this webinar presentation.

The U.S. Department of Education has adopted using data for school improvement as one of its major education reform priorities. In the past decade, the Department, school districts, and states have spent more than a billion dollars to build data systems that collect, organize, and report on student data to foster continuous improvement. We are now in a position to transform this data into information that can promote student success by tracking academic progress and by guiding the daily actions of families, schools, communities, and the students themselves.

Measuring student progress—in areas such as grades, attendance, and positive behaviors—presents a tremendous opportunity to involve parents in their children’s education and to provide a platform for strong parent–teacher partnerships. Making this data accessible and presenting it in a meaningful way can increase student success by empowering families to monitor their children’s academic progress from early childhood to college and beyond. Schools and districts in cities across the country are leading the effort to make student data accessible and useful for families.

This third webinar—Data Driven: Making Student and School Data Accessible and Meaningful to Families—will take a look at practical examples of how districts and schools are using data to engage families in their children’s education. The webinar will also introduce tools that enable practitioners, districts, and schools to incorporate data into their own family engagement strategies.

Presenters include:

  • Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education
  • Anna Hinton, Director, Parental Options and Information, Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education
  • Zena Rudo, Project Director, SEDL
  • Jennifer Salzstein, Program Director, ARIS Parent Link, New York City Department of Education
  • Barbara Taveras, Director, Community Engagement, New Visions for Public Schools
  • D’Lisa Crain, Grant Administrator, Nevada State PIRC, Education Alliance of Washoe County

Don’t miss this opportunity to gain an understanding of what is needed to engage families through the use of student data, discuss some of the challenges in building capacity, and highlight strategies to overcome them.



The articles listed below are grouped into three categories: (1) perspectives that offer lessons learned from family and community use of data, (2) program examples that illustrate what it takes to make data actionable for families, and (3) tools that help everyone understand how data can be analyzed.


  • Five Design Principles for Smarter Data Systems
    Bill Tucker’s Op-Ed introduces the concept of moving from institution- to individual-centered data systems.

  • Five Big Ideas for Data Rigor…Without Mortis
    This guest post on Education Sector’s The Quick and the Ed blog by Heather Weiss, Harvard Family Research Project founder and director, highlights the benefits of accessible and usable data systems to support learning in and out of school.
  • When Parents Assess Schools
    This Evaluation Exchange article discusses the role that data plays in helping parents assess, and then work to change, the performance of their children’s schools.
  • Learning from Families
    This Evaluation Exchange article discusses expanding the scope of family support to include facilitating families’ use of data to improve their communities.


  • Aris Parent Link
    The New York City Department of Education's Achievement Reporting and Innovation System.

  • New Visions for Public Schools: Using Data to Engage Families
    This article from Harvard Family Research Project describes how high schools in New York City have begun to engage families in students’ academic success and college readiness by helping parents understand student data. Through this case study, it becomes clear that supporting parents in grasping and using this information is a shared responsibility among schools, families, and students.

  • New Visions for Public Schools' website

  • Good to Go!
    New Visions’ college and career readiness campaign.
  • Parent School Parntership Program
    Website for the Nevada State PIRC's series of classes for elementary, middle, and high school parents.

  • Project Eagle
    This snapshot, found on page 15 of Taking Leadership, Innovating Change: Profiles in Family, School, and Community Engagement, from the National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group outlines how one early childhood program uses data to help parents plot the trajectory of their young children’s learning.


  • “Cooking with Data” to Target Education Gaps
    This Evaluation Exchange article describes several basic ways of analyzing data to reveal a more complete picture of what education offers different groups of students.
  • 10 State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use
    The Data Quality Campaign identified 10 actions states should take to change how data are used to inform policies and practices aimed at improving system and student performance. View reports on the two actions most relevant to parents:
    • Action 6 recommends creating progress reports using individual student data to improve student performance.
    • Action 10 calls for promoting strategies to raise awareness of the data available to key stakeholders—including parents.
  • Parent and Community Data Guide
    This guide from The Education Trust provides instructions for collecting and using data to understand a school's and school district's performance, as well as how to use this data for improvement.

< Previous installment | Main Webinar Series Page | Next Installment >

© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project