Skip to main content

Data and Privacy

In recognition of the powerful benefits that come from interweaving academic and social-emotional learning, a shift in data collection, assessment, and interpretation is under way. Providing countless avenues of insight, data serves as the building block of assessment (diagnostic, formative, and summative), an indicator of interest, and a metric of progress.

Calls for strong integration of social, emotional, and behavioral skills into core academic curricula are now heard from community and family voices. According to the Data Quality Campaign, a 2019 PDK poll found that “82 percent of Americans said it is highly important for schools to help students develop interpersonal skills such as being cooperative, respectful of others, and persistent at solving problems.” Further, according to a DQC survey conducted in 2017 by Harris Poll, “91 percent of families are interested in knowing about their child’s social-emotional learning.”

Accurate measurement and assessment of these skills is necessary to evaluate programmatic effectiveness and success. Moreover, ensuring data privacy, protection, and security is paramount, as these data points include sensitive personal information.

A personalized, learner-centered environment uses technology to securely and efficiently protect, collect, analyze, and organize data. This increases differentiation opportunities and outcomes to better meet students where they are, spurring authentic skill, content acquisition, and growth, and articulates the need for mental health services where appropriate.

However, the data must be explained in a clear and comprehensive way to students and other stakeholders. Efforts to articulate and communicate findings provide transparency and intention for all involved parties. When the data indicates a need for a particular student, there is a moral imperative to act.

become dependent on adult-driven procedures and routines rather than their own skills and motivation. To deliver the education all students deserve—one that prepares them for the lives they choose—the U.S. education system must address the essential elements of student development beyond academics. When students matriculate through K–12 without the skills necessary to engage in learning, they can’t process the vast amount of instruction that comes their way each day and it becomes daunting, if not impossible, to stay on track. This is the achievement gap.

education, elementary school, learning, technology and people concept - group of school kids with tablet pc computer having fun on break in classroom
  • What assessments are in place to both monitor and enhance acquisition of any needed services related to health and well-being?
  • What data points are measurable from these assessments?
  • What needs can be pinpointed from the assessments?
  • How can assessments and assignments be designed to more fully celebrate the diversity of students’ assets, contributions, and cultural perspectives?
  • How can data be better interpreted and represented through a lens of equity?
  • What communication mechanisms can best articulate growth markers for SEL, health, and well-being?
  • Are communication efforts designed in terms that are friendly to
    • general education teachers;
    • students, as appropriate to grade level;
    • families; and
    • other stakeholders?
  • Are the efforts communicated in such a way that these audiences can understand the interconnections of academic and SEL skills?
  • How is data and privacy protected, and how is this relayed to stakeholders?
  • How will data inform professional learning practices?
  • How can coaches help teachers interpret data, ensure student privacy, and provide practical next-step guidance?

Highlighted Resources

Phishing Upstream With Diane Doersch

In this era of data, equity, and sustainability, it’s a lot to put on a tech leader’s plate. In this episode, the hosts chat with Diane Doersch, former CTO of Green Bay Schools and Technical Project Director for Digital Promise to discuss the sustainability toolkit she’s put together for leaders as well as exploring ways to expand the racial and gender divides that exist within the tech field.

Implementation Guides

Data Fluency Incentives for Educators

Data literacy is at the heart of effective decisionmaking in classrooms, schools, districts, and communities. All students, including those in need of acceleration, remediation, or intervention, provide teachers, counselors, interventionists, coaches, and administrators with a true wealth of data in various forms.


This guide is generously supported by GoGuardian.