Misconceptions about data-based decision making in education: An exploration of the literature

Ellen B. Mandinach, Kim Schildkamp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)
345 Downloads (Pure)


Research on data-based decision making has proliferated around the world, fueled by policy recommendations and the diverse data that are now available to educators to inform their practice. Yet, many misconceptions and concerns have been raised by researchers and practitioners. To better understand the issues, a session was convened at AERA's annual convention in 2018, followed by an analysis of the literature based on misconceptions that emerged. This commentary is an outgrowth of that exploration by providing research, theoretical, and practical evidence to dispel some of the misconceptions. Our objective is to survey and synthesize the landscape of the data-based decision making literature to address the identified misconceptions and then to serve as a stimulus to changes in policy and practice as well as a roadmap for a research agenda.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100842
JournalStudies in educational evaluation
Early online date23 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Continuous improvement
  • Data literacy
  • Data use
  • Data-based decision making
  • Data-driven decision making
  • Misconceptions
  • Teacher preparation
  • Theory
  • Accountability


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