Just before the winter holiday, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice repealed federal guidance for protecting students from discriminatory disciplinary practices. Now it is in the hands of educators and education leaders to set the bar for addressing disproportionate punishment of students of color and create the conditions for better discipline policy and practice in their schools and districts. This requires data leaders to play a key role in holding ourselves accountable to right action, education data leaders like Dr. Akisha Jones Sarfo, a recent Strategic Data Project Fellow at Guilford County Schools.
The 2018-19 year marks the 10th anniversary of the Strategic Data Project. Ten years ago, the majority of school systems were amassing a treasure trove of student-level data for the first time yet lacked the capacity to maximize data for higher purposes. This is precisely what drove the conception of the Strategic Data Project, to identify top quantitative talent and share tools for effective data use. We knew that we could help shape the policy and management decisions that directly influence schools' and teachers' abilities to improve student achievement.