Oklahoma education leaders are reassessing the way the state collects and uses information on its students, she said.
That conversation is a sign that Oklahoma is taking steps toward improvement, even if, on paper, it may appear to have stalled, she said.
As states begin to look with greater scrutiny about the student data they collect, Guidera said, it is important that the states also consider how best to make use of that information.
Any data the states collect needs to be available to allow parents and teachers to see how their students are progressing over time.
“Data does not exist for data's sake,” she said. “Data has got to exist to inform policy and practice.”
John Kraman, executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Education's student data and information system, said the department is moving aggressively to improve how the state handles student performance data.
The department has been working closely with Oklahoma Chief Information Officer Alex Pettit and speaking with school administrators, parents and others to develop a plan to improve the state's educational data, Kraman said.
By the time next year's report is released, he said, he expects to have made a great deal of progress.
“There's a lot on our plate,” he said. “It's really an exciting time.”