Oregon DATA Project receives national attention
Mar 24,2009 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources
OREGON -- A statewide initiative that provides training to Oregon educators on how to effectively use data has earned national attention. The Oregon DATA Project, funded with a $4.7 million federal grant, is featured in a research paper just released by the national Data Quality Campaign. The report identifies professional development as an essential element of success for data systems, and Oregon is singled out as one of the few states currently providing that training.

“Oregon has developed two primary data system training efforts to date,” says the report, titled “The Next Step: Using Longitudinal Data Systems To Improve Student Success.” “The first training program is aimed at instructional professional development, while the second is more of a technical strand for district data submitters.”

The effective use of data is receiving national attention as the importance of measurable results in the school setting grows. “Data can also help classroom teachers tailor their instruction to individual student needs, which can significantly increase student achievement,” says Mickey Garrison, training director of the Oregon DATA Project.

“During these tough economic times, professional development is especially vital,” says state School Superintendent Susan Castillo. “We are asking our schools and teachers to do more with less, to survive on fewer resources but to continue to raise the quality of education offered to our youth. Training in how to fully utilize data is one way to improve educational outcomes without increased spending.”

The Oregon DATA Project is built around the concept that high-quality, convenient and comprehensive professional development is the key to effectively using data. The three-year project is in its second year, and so far has trained more than 1,000 educators in about 110 districts in Oregon. For more information, visit www.oregondataproject.org.