Jeffrey Thayne, Jim Schmidt, and Greg Weeks each presented at the 2018 NCES STATS-DC Data Conference in July. STATS-DC is a conference that brings together individuals and organizations from throughout the country who use data to help administer and evaluate education programs. The conference includes discussions on technical and policy issues related to the collection, maintenance, and use of education data for education researchers, policymakers, and data system managers from all levels of government. The theme of this year's conference was "Visualizing the Future of Education through Data."
Jim Schmidt served on two panels:
- The first was titled The Art of the Possible: Data Governance Lessons Learned from Kentucky, Maryland, and Washington. Also on the panel were Elizabeth Dabney from the Data Quality Campaign, Ross Goldstein from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center, and Kate Akers from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics. The panel explored how Maryland, Washington, and Kentucky were able to create strong cross-agency data governance and the challenges they overcame along the way.
- The second was titled, "Courting" P-20W Partners. In addition to Jim, it included Bill Hurwitch from AEM Corporation, Kate Akers from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, and Kara Arzamendia from the Minnesota Department of Education. This session explored strategies for "courting" potential P-20W partners, defining and justifying the purpose for expanding partnerships, and potential categories for partnerships.
Greg Weeks presented on findings from his ongoing research into the economic returns of various degrees in Washington state, and the gender deficit in earnings observed in income data in Washington. His presentation was called, The Gender Deficit in Earnings Among Workers with Postsecondary Degrees or Credentials in Washington State, and it tracked the findings reported in the research brief published by Greg here: The Earnings Premium of Washington Higher Education: Gender Deficit in Earnings among Washington College Graduates.
Jeffrey Thayne partnered with Nikki Churchwell and Ivan Metzger from the U.S. Department of Education to explore how to create more compelling data stories. The presentation focused on how to distill large amounts of information into stories that make sense for readers and consumers, and how to present these stories in a meaningful way to audiences. The presentation was titled, Telling Engaging Stories with Data. During the presentation, Nikki and Ivan shared data stories created by the Department of Education: Chronic Absenteeism and Our Nation's English Learners. The slides that Jeffrey used, with brief notes, can be found here.