NSBF Receives Grant from the Gates Foundation to Help School Boards Use Data in Decision Making
Alexandria, Va. – January 26 – The National School Boards Foundation has received a $755,603 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the effective use of data in school board decision-making.
The grant is part of a $22 million initiative announced by the Gates Foundation on Jan. 22 to help school districts, individual schools, and states gather and effectively use student performance data to improve teaching and learning and create evidence-based links between students, educators, and policymakers. The initiative supports the Gates Foundation’s efforts to ensure all students graduate from high school prepared for college with the opportunity to earn a degree with real value in the workplace.
Over a 15-month period, NSBA will work with partner state associations to develop training modules, online resources, and easy to use data tools. These materials will be field-tested with six school boards in three states and then will be rolled out through the Federation of State Associations to school boards nationwide.
"Through this project, we will use the leverage that our State Associations give us to help better prepare school board members to use data consistently and effectively in their decision making, including budget setting, monitoring school and student performance, evaluating current initiatives, and strategic planning," says NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant. "Our State Associations will have the tools to help school boards be better able to communicate data to their communities that is clear, understandable, and compelling."
This work will build on Good Measures for Good Schools, a web-based data framework for measuring school quality, from the availability of prekindergarten and enrollment to indicators of college and workplace success, developed by NSBA’s Center for Public Education. It will also draw from NSBA's Key Work of School Boards, a framework to help school boards focus on raising student achievement with community engagement.
At the end of the project:
- The school boards associations in the three pilot states will be equipped to provide training on data-driven decision-making to all school boards in their states.
- Based on the results of the pilot test, training materials and a board development process will be rolled out to NSBA’s nationwide network of school board trainers.
- A self-guided tutorial for using and communicating data, online materials, and easy-to-use data tools will be available on the Center for Public Education website for use by school board members, parents, business and community leaders, and anyone else interested in improving outcomes for public school students.
Founded in 1940, the National School Boards Association is a not-for-profit federation of state associations of school boards representing 95,000 local school board members throughout the United States. Its mission is to foster excellence and equity in public elementary and secondary education through local school board leadership. NSBA represents the school board perspective in working with federal government agencies and national organizations that impact education, and provides vital information and services to state associations of school boards throughout the nation.
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