News & Events

WestEd Creates AERA Special Interest Group (SIG)

DDI welcomes you to join the inaugural business meeting of an AERA Special Interest Group (SIG) on data-driven decision-making. The SIG will be launched at this year’s American Educational Research Association annual meeting in Washington, DC, Monday, April 11, 6:45-8:15pm (EST) at the Marriott Marquis, Level 4, Independence Salon G.

This SIG will provide interested researchers with an intellectual and collaborative home where theory, research, policy, and practice on data-driven decision-making can be shared with like-minded colleagues. Note: If you are unable to attend the SIG meeting and/or are interested in more information, please feel free to contact Ellen Mandinach at or 202.674.9300.

Data-driven decision-making in education has become an increasingly emphasized topic by policymakers. Educators at all levels of the education system — from classrooms, schools, districts, state education agencies, and at the federal level — are expected to use data in effective and responsible ways. Having the right data and using them appropriately can provide credible and informative insights into what is really happening to students, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders. For example, the decision to implement a new program, curriculum, or intervention should be based on data that support the particular situation.

Research on data use has paralleled this emphasis, but until now has lacked an intellectual home, despite undergirding many of the divisions of AERA. Teachers inform their classroom practices and make instructional decisions based on many sources of data. Education leaders at the building level help to create data cultures in schools. Superintendents and state commissioners must make informed decisions based on hard evidence. Policymakers rely on sound evidence from which to make decisions. It is safe to say that data should permeate all education practice.

As Director of the Data for Decisions Initiative at WestEd, Ellen Mandinach led the creation of this SIG. The Data for Decisions website provides resources to help educators use data for effective decision-making, and now the AERA SIG will further increase understanding and capacity on data for decision-making.

We look forward to seeing you on April 11, in Washington, DC, for a collaborative, engaging kick-off discussion on data-driven decision-making in education. As mentioned above, for more information, especially for those who will be unable to attend the session, please feel free to contact Ellen Mandianch at or 202.674.9300.