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Data 101 and More!

Maryland has had a school report card for two decades, but the new Maryland Report Card is a departure from past practice. The new Report Card still gauges how schools and school systems are faring on State assessments, but also other factors such as growth in achievement, high school graduation, student access to a well-rounded curriculum, the progress of English language learners, post-secondary readiness, and more.

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girl taking assessment

Data Literacy and Assessment Literacy

Please take a few moments to become familiar with some of the new features such as current and trend data. In some cases, data can be downloaded and shared with schools and school staff and other stakeholders.

For support or technical assistance, please contact us to set up time to demonstrate the ways in which the new report card can support school improvement efforts. 

A common question that often arises in data discussions or data dialogues is the difference between data literacy and assessment literacy. Knowing the difference can ensure common language in decision-making planning.

A data-literate educator possesses the knowledge and skills to access, interpret, act on, and communicate about multiple types of data to support student success (1)

An assessment-literate educator typically has specific skill sets:

  • shows the skills of a data-literate educator

  • creates and/or select high-quality assessments

  • integrates assessment practices and assessments results into action

  • communicates effectively and accurately. (2)

  • gathers information to make education-related decisions (3)


The Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University developed a resource, fig. 1, to support educators in establishing a common language and framework to enable strategic use of data in the following three key areas:


  • Program and major initiatives

  • Performance management

  • Resource allocation and budgeting

Consider using the rubric to identify organizational strengths and areas for improvement. This tool could be used in conjunction with collecting data for a Needs Assessment.

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Narrowing it Down  


The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning.

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against a standard or benchmark.

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links to six-page data rubric

Fig. 1 Center for Education Policy Research data rubric

(1) Teacher Data Literacy: It's About Time. Data Quality Campaign, February 2014.

(2) Data Literacy- What it is and How it Differs from Assessment Literacy, NWEA, September 2014.

(3) Assessment Literacy Defined. National Task Force on Assessment Education, 2017.

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