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Angela Hawken Speaks on Using Data for Better

Understanding School Communities


Director of Litmus, Angela Hawken, and her team collaborated with NAF to create the Open Data Index for Schools (ODIS), a resource that provides insights into the challenges facing the more than 23,000 high-school communities across the United States. Hawken spoke on “Introducing ODIS–Using Better Data for Understanding School Communities,” in NAF’s Research + Tech Talk series. About the challenges that she sees when embarking on partnerships with schools and their communities, Hawken noted:

If you have a data gatekeeper who is willing to let people come in and have a learning environment, magic can happen, because you can really learn together and collectively. But sometimes we find data gatekeepers circle the wagons and they just don’t want to really create that learning environment, because sometimes they’re fearful of data, which gets me to the last point, the weaponization of data. I think many academics and researchers have earned a bad reputation in this space, because sometimes people get harmed when they share their data. And how do we create safe learning spaces for schools where they can get ahead of their data and do useful things about it but where they aren’t vilified because of the data?

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