Rahm Emanuel famously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” We must find ways of making this a teachable moment, seize it as an opportunity to educate stakeholders in the education community about both the myriad ways in which data are central to the mission of public education, and how we can work together to ensure--as best we can--that data can be used in the service of teaching and learning without sacrificing privacy or the security. I believe that the overwhelming majority of educators, parents, and other stakeholders would welcome that message, and that by articulating the centrality of data in administrative and academic operations, it might contribute to a much-needed change in the dynamics of the debate over the role of data in public education.
If data plays a central role in schooling, it should be controlled by the school community and district, not farmed out to vendors. If schools don't have the technical capacity to manage systems themselves, we need to invest in school and district level capacity building so they can.
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