In the push to bring data to bear on all of the important education issues of the day, one essential fact is often overlooked: Not all indicators are created equal. This book provides a comprehensive approach for understanding how statistical measures of achievement are developed, evaluated, and interpreted. Given the extent to which accountability measures determine outcomes for schools and students, this practical introduction is essential reading for a wide audience that includes school administrators, teachers, policymakers, and the media. The authors strive to increase "statistical literacy" by engaging readers in the process of becoming thoughtful and critical users of data.
With the practitioner in mind, this hands-on primer:
Outlines a viable approach to interpreting the vast array of available data about education in the United States.
Uses clear, jargon-free language with real examples from local, national, and international indicator systems.
Offers a website (www.educationindicator.com) with additional resources, examples, and a forum for up-to-the-minute policy discussions.
Mike Planty is a statistician at the U. S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Deven Carlson is a Ph.D. candidate in political science and a graduate research fellow at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.