Malvern, Pa. – August 14, 2018 – The Frontline Research & Learning Institute today released a new white paper that articulates how data can help develop smarter, more insightful approaches to managing school district talent. Once considered an administrative function, human capital management is a strategic imperative for K-12 leaders.

The white paper, “Balancing the Equation: How Talent Data Can Lead to Better Decision
Making for K-12 Leaders
,”contends that most school districts already have access to valuable data from across the talent lifecycle. Building impactful human capital management strategies is a matter of viewing that information with the right lens, policies and systems.

“With connected data systems, a coherent theory of action and cross-departmental collaboration, school systems can create a new future where data are rigorously collected and evaluated to support educators from hire to retire,” says Elizabeth Combs, managing director, the Frontline Research & Learning Institute. “The right lens on human capital management can help turn the tide on teacher recruitment and retention.”

The paper offers districts these five principles for smarter use of data to drive better decision-making:
1. All data are not necessarily useful or relevant.
2. The translation of data into action requires thoughtful planning, training and practice.
3. The data that are collected must be trusted.
4. Data collection and use must be part of an iterative cycle that involves testing hypotheses, measuring outcomes, and making course adjustments.
5. Data systems must have the flexibility to help gather, measure and focus on the things that matter most.

The paper proposes a vision for strategic human capital management characterized by a holistic approach to building and maintaining a high-performing employee culture. In this culture, leaders make data-driven decisions aligned to the school system’s strategic objectives. Teams collaboratively set goals, measure results using data and benchmarks and determine key opportunities for continued improvement in employee engagement, efficiency and effectiveness – all in support of improved student learning.

About the Frontline Research & Learning Institute

The Frontline Research & Learning Institute is a division of Frontline Education, an integrated insights partner to K-12 organizations nationwide. The Institute is a learning organization dedicated to providing data-driven research, resources, and observations to support and advance the educational community. Driven by the vast amount of records across Frontline’s comprehensive solutions portfolio, the Institute leverages data from more than 12,000 educational organizations and several million users to reach findings and provide benchmarks that inform strategic decision-making for the education community. The Frontline Research & Learning Institute works with Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Reform in Education to ensure all research reports and analyses are rigorously-validated and representative of national data.


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Andrea Fitzpatrick

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