Education and Training: The Keys to Effectively Using Data
Lessons from the Riverside County Office of Education
In this third part of a four-part series, Gil Compton, director of college and career readiness, education services for the Riverside County Office of Education, further describes how Riverside County uses StudentTracker® for High Schools to improve students’ postsecondary outcomes.
Gil Compton recently shared with Clearinghouse staff some of the biggest administrative challenges that he faces from a county perspective in getting counselors, principals and other school leaders to engage with the data to get things done.
One big challenge is developing systems to use the data, and then training people to use those systems.
“I use the example of baseball in spring training. Even though they’re being paid $24 million a year to play, every spring they get together, and they work on the basic, fundamental elements of their sport,” Compton said.
No matter how experienced or advanced a school leader may be, education and training is key to using data effectively. Learning how to use and visualize data is part of many administrative and counseling graduate programs, but Compton encourages schools to have established systems for:
- Ongoing inquiry
“It’s not enough to train people once in how to use the National Student Clearinghouse’s data,” Compton said. “It has to be every year, and it has to be tiered for the beginning user, for the experienced user, and for the policy analyst.”
There is much the Clearinghouse does to support that ongoing training process. The Clearinghouse Academy offers a series of videos, webinars, and other resources to help school and district leaders understand not only how to interpret the information, but also learn from examples and use cases.
“Those best practices can then be replicated,” Compton said. “Although schools may differ in their capacities and their cultures, schools can learn from and adopt best-practice strategies.”
“It’s not enough to train people once in how to use the National Student Clearinghouse’s data. It has to be every year, and it has to be tiered for the beginning user, for the experienced user, and for the policy analyst.”
Director of college and career readiness, education services, Riverside County Office of Education