Research

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WestEd resource
(published by WestEd or authored by current WestEd staff)

The Data for Decisions Initiative (DDI) seeks to help education stakeholders—including educators, policymakers, and researchers—access solution-driven tools, resources, and research to inform their practice and develop a better understanding of how high-quality data use can successfully inform teaching and learning.

This page offers foundational research in the field—that is, research that focuses on the critical components of data for decision making, such as data systems, data teams, data coaches, creating a data culture, vision, and the need for leadership. It seeks to understand data for decision making and data use in education.

This page will be updated regularly with new materials, so check back often!

To sort the table, click the sort arrow () to the right of the column heading. To filter the results, use one or both of the selection boxes below:

Resource TitleAuthor(s)DateTopicResource TypeAudience(s)
Ethical and Appropriate Data Use Requires Data LiteracyMandinach, E. B., Parton, B. M., Gummer, E. S., Anderson, R.2015Data Use TheoryResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
An Analysis of the Licensure Requirements that Pertain to Data Literacy: An Interim Report , RevisedMandinach, E.B, Gummer, E.G., & Friedman, J.M.2013OtherWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
An Analysis of the Survey of Schools of Education on Use of Data in their Teacher Preparation Programs: An Interim ReportMandinach, E.B, Gummer, E.G., & Friedman, J.M.2013OtherWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Analysis of Syllabi Intending to Prepare Teachers to be Data Literate: An Interim ReportMandinach, E.B, Gummer, E.G., & Friedman, J.M.2013OtherWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Preparing Educators to Effectively Use Student Data SystemsWayman, J. & Cho, V.2009Empirical Research Classroom Level, Empirical Research System LevelWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Knowledge Management for Educational Information Systems: What is the State of the Field?Thorn, C.A.2001OtherResearch PaperPolicymaker, Researcher
Data Use in the Classroom: The Challenges of Implementing Data-Based Decision Making at the School LevelThorn, C.A.2002Empirical Research System LevelWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
After the Test: Closing the Achievement Gap With DataSymonds, K.W.2004Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Using Test-Score Data in the ClassroomStecher, B.M., & Hamilton, L.S.2006Empirical Research Classroom LevelResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
All in the Palm of Your Hand: Lessons From One School’s First Steps with Handheld Technology for Literacy AssessmentsSharp, D. & Risko, V.2003Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Supporting Teachers’ Data-Driven Instructional Conversations: An Environmental Scan of Reading First and STEP Literacy Assessments, Data Visualizations, and Assumptions About Conversations That MatterSharp, D.2004OtherResearch PaperEducator, Researcher
Data-Informed Leadership in EducationKnapp, M.S., Swinnerton, J.A., Copland, M.A., & Monpas-Huber, J.2006Empirical Research System LevelWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Cutting Through the “Data-Driven” Mantra: Different Conceptions of Data-Driven Decision MakingIkemoto, G.S., & Marsh, J.A.2007Empirical Research Classroom LevelWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
The New Instructional Leadership: Creating Data-Driven Instructional Systems in SchoolsHalverson, R., Gregg, J., Pritchett, R.B., & Thomas, C.2005Data Use Theory, Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperEducator, Researcher
Formative Feedback Systems and the New Instructional LeadershipHalverson, R., Pritchett, R.B., & Watson, J.G.2007Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperEducator, Researcher
Over-the-Counter Data’s Impact on Educators’ Data Analysis AccuracyRankin, J.G.2013Data Use Theory, OtherResearch PaperEducator, Researcher
Supporting a Culture of Data Use: Interview with Jeffrey WaymanDoing What Works2009Empirical Research System Level, OtherAudio/VideoEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Supporting Teachers in Understanding and Using Data: Interview with Ellen MandinachDoing What Works2010Empirical Research System Level, OtherAudio/VideoEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Collaborative Structures for Data Use: Interview with Richard HalversonDoing What Works2009Empirical Research System Level, OtherAudio/VideoEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Helping Students Gain Ownership Over Their Learning: Interview with Jonathan SupovitzDoing What Works2009Empirical Research Classroom Level, OtherAudio/VideoEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Data-Driven Instructional Decision Making: Interview with Laura HamiltonDoing What Works2009Data Use Theory, OtherAudio/VideoEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Technology to Support Next-Generation Classroom Formative Assessment for LearningQuellmalz, E.2013OtherWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Assessment for Learning: What Policymakers Should Know About Formative AssessmentOrland, M. & Anderson, J.2013OtherBriefPolicymaker, Researcher
Professional Development on Formative Assessment: Insights From Research and PracticeTrumbull, E. & Gerzon, N.2013OtherWhite PaperEducator
Results: The Key to RenewalSchmoker, M.J., & Wilson, R.B.1995OtherBriefEducator, Policymaker
Use of Education Data at the Local Level: From Accountability to Instructional ImprovementMeans, B., Padilla, C., & Gallagher, L.2010Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Understanding Data Use Practice Among Teachers: The Contribution of Micro-Process StudiesLittle, J.W.2012Empirical Research System LevelWhite PaperResearcher
Teachers’ Ability to Use Data to Inform Instruction: Challenges and SupportsMeans, B., Chen, E., DeBarger, A., & Padilla, C.2011OtherResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Lessons Learned in Using Data to Support School Inquiry and Continuous Improvement: Final Report to the Stuart FoundationHerman, J., & Gribbons, B.2001Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperPolicymaker, Researcher
Making Sense of Test-Based Accountability in EducationHamilton, L.S., Stecher, B.M., & Klein, S.P.2002OtherMiscEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Creating a System for Data-Driven Decision Making: Applying a Principal-Agent FrameworkWohlstetter, P., Datnow, A., & Park, V.2008Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperEducator, Researcher
Mapping a Course for Improved Student Learning: How Innovative Schools Systematically Use Data to Guide ImprovementSupovitz, J.A., & Klein, V.2003Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperResearcher
A Systemic View of Implementing Data Literacy into Educator PreparationMandinach, E. B., & Gummer, E. S.2013OtherWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
The Roles and Practices of Student Services Staff as Data-Driven Instructional LeadersHalverson, R., & Thomas, C.N.2007Empirical Research Classroom LevelResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
The Use of Interim Assessment Data in Urban Schools: Links Among Data Use Practices and Student AchievementFaria, A-M., Heppen, J., et al.2012Empirical Research Classroom Level, Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperPolicymaker, Researcher
Achieving with Data: How High-Performing School Systems Use Data to Improve Instruction for Elementary StudentsDatnow, A., Park, V., & Wohlstetter, P.2007Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperEducator, Researcher
Data Use in Practice: Examples from the School LevelChoppin, J.2002Empirical Research System LevelResearch PaperResearcher
Below the Bubble: “Educational Triage” and the Texas Accountability SystemBooher-Jennings, J2005Empirical Research Classroom LevelResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom AssessmentBlack, P. & Wiliam D.1998Data Use TheoryWhite PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Achieving a Wealth of Riches: Delivering on the Promise of Data to Transform Teaching and LearningMiller, M.2009OtherBriefEducator, Policymaker
Data for School Improvement: Factors for Designing Effective Information Systems to Support Decision-Making in SchoolsBreiter, A. & Light, D.2006Data Use Theory, Empirical Research System LevelWhite PaperResearcher
Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision MakingHamilton, L., Halverson, R., Jackson, S., Mandinach, E., Supovitz, J., & Wayman, J2009Empirical Research Classroom Level, Empirical Research System LevelUser GuideEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Understanding How Teachers Use Student Assessment DataTran, L., Lash, A., & Peterson, M.2012Empirical Research Classroom LevelResearch PaperEducator, Policymaker, Researcher
Making Sense of Data-Driven Decision Making in EducationMarsh, J.A., Pane, J.F., & Hamilton, L.S.2006Data Use Theory, Empirical Research System LevelWhite PaperPolicymaker, Researcher