A new study recommends ways to increase the availability and accessibility of student data systems to parents.
According to the report, released this month by the National PTA and the Harvard Family Research Project, investments in student data systems are showing positive effects on learning, but not all districts with such systems may be providing parents with adequate training in using them. In one such district, the study found that parent accounts were not activated for 72 percent of students in the free- and reduced-price lunch program and 74 percent of English-language learners.
The report recommends expanding data collection to include out-of-school learning (such as after-school programs), providing user guidelines to parents, and having districts discuss the systems potential impact with communities and policymakers.
A version of this article appeared in the January 26, 2011 edition of Education Week as Family Engagement