Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

District Data Personnel Perspectives on the Federal Data Collection and Reporting Process and How They Inform Their Work
by Young, Beth Aronstamm, Ph.D., George Mason University, 2018, 150; 10837472
Abstract (Summary)

Data that follow students over time are not only important but necessary at all levels of education to make accurate policy and funding decisions. Districts have personnel responsible for collecting data from their schools and then reporting the data to the state. Using critical realism as the frame, a multiple case study was conducted to develop an understanding of how perspective and context influence actions of the district data personnel responsible for collecting and reporting data, provide those personnel with a voice, and contribute to the improvement of the federal reporting processes.

A review of the literature offers several points of reference for understanding this work. Researchers found that barriers to district data use do not tend to be technical issues, but human, state support of districts improves data use, and individuals bring their own context and understanding into any process in which they participate.

Four case studies of school districts in Virginia with exemplary data reporting were used in this research. Data were collected through interviews with district data personnel. All cases had data audit processes that were followed and documented, and all had distinct philosophies surrounding data in their districts, however, there was not a one size fits all organizational context or process. Challenges to state reporting included conflicting priorities of the school data personnel and lack of district data personnel. Recommendations include states support of communities of practice among school districts and federal funding support for school and district data collection and reporting.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Earley, Penelope
Commitee: Maxwell, Joseph, Smith, Robert
School: George Mason University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 80/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Public policy
Keywords: Data collection, Data reporting, District data, District personnel, Federal data collection, Multiple case study
Publication Number: 10837472
ISBN: 9780438737389
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