The New Politics of Educational Data

edtechdigest.com

A widening ideological divide emerges with powerful implications for the future of education.

GUEST COLUMN | by Bryan Alexander 

CREDIT WH.govAs winter gives way to spring in the northern hemisphere, we are witnessing the emergence of a new politics of educational data. Based on discussions I’ve conducted with leading thinkers and practitioners, I can identify two competing ideologies, with powerful implications for the future of education.

On the one hand there is a drive to reshape assessment, which we could call Testing 2.0, in the wake of general dissatisfaction with America’s No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top policies. In their place is a possible reduction of formal testing combined with increasing collection of student data throughout their schooling. Opposed to this is a nascent movement in favor of student autonomy and ownership of data as empowerment strategies.

The pro-data-gathering side would build substantial and probably centralized mechanisms…

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