The Foundation for Tacoma Students is committed to ensuring data transparency and access to enable informed decision-making. Our Data Library includes resources carefully vetted and curated to support data literacy and drive systems change in Pierce County and beyond. Resources include original content, technical resources, and activities that support individual learning.
Centering racial equity within data integration efforts is not a binary outcome but rather a series of steps toward more equitable practices. These resources provide strategies for organizations to grow that work in practice.
Starting with equity in data analysis, these files guide with analysis and reporting for quantitative and qualitative information. The Data Quality Campaign published three fantastic blog posts in 2019 about data reporting to support equity. Each post is a 5-minute read.
The Youth Development Executives of King County Partnership Toolkit is a valuable resource for considering school-community partnerships.
Program evaluation is the systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of programs to make judgments, improve effectiveness, and/or inform decisions about future programming. The Racial Equity Tools evaluation toolkit includes many resources that help with all phases of evaluation planning. Michael Patton’s book, Utilization-Focused Evaluation, is a helpful guide to participatory evaluation techniques. His company’s website includes useful articles, books, and video resources. The YDEKC Evaluation section of their toolkit includes multiple items to help organizations plan and implement evaluation work. The Pell Institute has developed a thorough Evaluation Toolkit that informed the YDEKC materials and includes a range of helpful resources.
Data analysis is at the heart of our work and how we drive equity, continuous improvement, and systems change. Yet it is also a place where we can reproduce systems of oppression if not diligent. These resources introduce best practices and methods.
FFTS seeks to create compelling, accessible data visualizations that make sense to a broad array of audiences. Below, we include some slides and dashboard links tracking our own data visualization journey, along with data visualization communities and resources from prominent data visualization advocates.
FFTS and similar organizations always seek the most effective data to track our goals and indicators. This ideally includes obtaining or creating non-invasive, row-level data on the students we serve to drive equity and continuous improvement. However, it frequently includes, and sometimes must include, using either disaggregated or aggregated publicly available data. The links below take you to what we consider to be some of the best education, demographic, and population data sets supporting our movement’s work.
These resources focus on the systems needed to store and secure quantitative data, as well as data sharing agreements to support sharing across organizations.
This folder provides resources on keeping individual student data private and secure. The federal Protecting Student Privacy Office in the Department of Education has user-friendly FAQs about student data privacy that are regularly updated. The OSPI K-12 Data Governance work group is a statewide group that oversees the development and implementation of the statewide student data system. Their meeting materials and reports may be helpful for particular questions or issues. The Washington Student Privacy Alliance includes some Washington and Pierce County school districts that use the website as a public place to hold data-sharing agreements.
Data sharing agreements (DSAs) are key documents for emerging partnerships where data will be needed to support student services and/or learning. DSAs can be very technical and should include the purpose for the data transfer, specific data included in the agreement, how the data will be protected in transit and at rest, how the data will be used, how data will be destroyed at the end of its use, and the specific length of time that the agreement is in place. DSAs can help institutionalize data sharing among programs, which ameliorates the impacts of turnover at schools and community organizations.
This folder includes software options for data exchange and storage, including links to discounted or subsidized data storage and analytics platforms for nonprofits. FFTS Data staff can provide limited local guidance to partners. In addition, the Salesforce Company has produced a helpful guide for choosing a software solution which includes significant information that may help make a software choice.
This section includes self-assessments regarding student data use. The Youth Development Executives of King County has created a Measurement Toolkit, with assessments at each phase of the data life cycle. Assessments should be customized for the audience based on their need and the potential professional development that may be offered in response. These assessments should be adjusted before being shared widely.
Data collection can have important implications for the communities we serve when gathering quantitative and qualitative information. Examples of this are highlighted in “Why Am I Being Researched” by The Chicago Beyond Project. The Racial Equity Evaluation Toolkit also provides tips on information sources and data collection.
Most of the Community Learning Fund participants reported interest in surveys. Surveys can not only generate useful information across programs and organizations, but the process of completing a survey can help generate insights for the individual completing the survey as well. Thoughtful survey implementation can be an efficient way to both gather information and deliver services.
This section contains resources around data literacy in organizational culture. Gartner defines data literacy as “the ability to read, write and communicate data in context, including an understanding of data sources and constructs, analytical methods and techniques applied — and the ability to describe the use case, application and resulting value” (from A Data Analytics Leader’s Guide to Data Literacy).
The resources in this section address the benefits and approaches to building data literacy within organizations. Many resources are from the Data Quality Campaign, which provides resources about data literacy for diverse audiences, including parents, teachers, principals, district leaders, state leaders, and the federal government.
Continuous improvement is an ongoing cycle of improving services and products through planning and reflecting and can include both incremental and breakthrough progress. The September 2013 edition of the Family Involvement Network of Educators newsletter, a former publication, and project from the Harvard School of Education, included several articles about continuous improvement in education. These articles informed the YDEKC measurement toolkit materials.