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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.

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Educational Leadership cover image, Doing Data Right - November 2015 issueToday’s data-rich education environment provides new opportunities for educators and families to build strong partnerships for children’s success. But often educators and families need training to ensure they have an understanding of what the data mean and what subsequent steps to take.

The article How to Share Data With Families, in the November issue of Educational Leadership from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), outlines data sharing as an important component of family engagement. Authors Lorette McWilliams of Harvard Family Research Project and Christine Patton of Jumpstart underscore that when data are accessible, understandable, and actionable, families are empowered and student success improves. McWilliams and Patton emphasize that data sharing is a shared responsibility and an ongoing process that helps both educators and families identify learning opportunities and develop goals for the student. According to the authors, successful data sharing programs do three key things:

  • Promote connections among and between people, ideas, and settings;
  • Put data in context; and
  • Approach data sharing as an ongoing process.

The article also provides tips for sharing data with families in ways that strengthen the family‒school partnership including:

  • Recognize that data and data sharing require responsible discretion;
  • Make data accessible, understandable, and actionable;
  • Build professional capacity;
  • Give families access and training; and
  • Address families’ unique needs.

Sharing data is a key component of strong family‒school partnerships. By inviting families into data conversations, we can improve student success, empower families, and engage with our communities in meaningful ways.

Read How to Share Data With Families

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