Data can power greater learning opportunities. New data tip sheets released for free download by The Wallace Foundation this week show how everyone in the business of expanding learning can use data more effectively to achieve the change we want for kids.
Too much data gets collected, then disappears into a folder. Sometimes the wrong or insufficient data is collected. But this is an area where we can make progress. As Nate Berg writes in The Atlantic Cities blog, “The tip sheets make the case to cities and program providers that having more data about after-school programs will make them easier to run and improve, and therefore more effective as bargaining tools to secure more funding, even when money’s tight.”
Here’s how the foundation describes these resources: “Designed for city agencies, after-school program providers, intermediary organizations, parents and others, these easy-to-use guides zero in on data use for four tasks key to more effective after-school: evaluating program quality, ensuring programs are accountable to funders, mapping program supply and demand, and supporting advocacy. A fifth tip sheet examines data-sharing arrangements that can give decision-makers the information that’s necessary. A sixth sheet offers an overview.”
The tip sheets are designed in part to bolster “systems-building” efforts in cities. You can learn more about those efforts from the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems.