Director of the Data Wise Project, Kathryn Parker Boudett focuses her research and teaching on helping educators make effective use of a wide range of data sources. She teaches Data Wise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Data to Improve Instruction, a course that offers educators a systematic approach for using data analysis to inform teaching and learning and supports school teams in creating data analyses and action plans for improving instruction.
In connection with this work, Boudett conducts research on best practices in teaching educators to use data effectively. Data Wise: A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning, the book on this topic that Boudett co-edited with Thompson Professor Richard Murnane and HGSE doctoral candidate Liz City, was published by Harvard Education Press in the fall of 2005. Before joining the HGSE faculty, Boudett worked as a consultant to the Boston Plan for Excellence, where she investigated Boston schools on the forefront of effective data use and helped synthesize lessons learned from their experiences.
What Are the Effects of Using Data Wisely On Students and Schools?, Spencer Foundation, (2007-2010) As a result of the school accountability movement of the 1990s and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools today face unprecedented state and federal pressure to show measurable growth in their students' learning. This external pressure to raise test scores has heightened educators' interest in using test data to improve student achievement, and data-driven decision making has become a popular buzzword in educational reform. But what exactly are the effects of using data on students and the schools that serve them? The answer to that question depends on the process that educators use around the data.