June 21, 2024

Students are transparent in science?  Experts demand records of educational progress in order to be able to better control the school system

Students are transparent in science? Experts demand records of educational progress in order to be able to better control the school system


Berlin. According to the Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD), knowledge about educational processes and educational outcomes is low in Germany compared to other European countries, and the database is only suitable to a limited extent for further development and control of the school system. Therefore, Germany cannot delay the creation of a record of educational progress any longer.

Do we need the transparent student? Illustration: shutterstock

The Council for Social and Economic Data has been in Germany since 2004. The body created by the Federal Ministry of Education says it is committed to an infrastructure that gives science broad, flexible and secure access to data provided by the state, science-based actors and the private sector.

In the current position paper, RatSWD advocates the creation of a registry of educational progress in order to fill current data gaps in educational research and thus catch up with international comparison. Learning paths can only be systematically analyzed through a learning path history that links existing data. This only enables recommendations based on scientific knowledge to improve the education system, which can be based on empirical data.

“Critical and transparent data about educational pathways is key to improving our education system”

In the paper, experts recommend the rapid creation of a transnational “individual longitudinal data set.” Following the example of other European countries, the data should be linked to other records, such as data from study progress statistics and training statistics, as well as other research data, such as general studies.

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The cross-sectional data and summaries of federal statistics on higher education and vocational training that are already available are not sufficient to analyze educational pathways and thus to control educational policy. Existing individual data sets, for example from school statistics and study progress statistics, are not yet available for information.

The Council appeals to political decision-makers at the federal and state levels to establish a register of educational progress as soon as possible. Monica Jungbauer Jans, Chair of the RatSWD Board of Directors, emphasizes that “critical and transparent data about teaching professions is key to improving our education system.” “Germany cannot and should not delay the development of the corresponding database any further. We owe this to everyone who will be subject to the German education system in the future.”

In perspective, the school’s statistical data can be supplemented with data on the state of learning. In the opinion of KMK, according to the position paper, VERA data collected regularly in Germany is not suitable for recording and grading skills across schools. Therefore, learning level assessments should be developed in such a way that they can serve as indicators of learning level. This must also be supported by a data protection-compliant connection with sample-based studies, such as the IQB Education Trends and the National Education Panel Study (NEPS). The learning progress record that will be generated must not become another data silo.

“Our goal is not the student who is transparent, but an educational system that is transparent, effective and equal opportunities”

According to RatSWD, the data should be “regularly available and non-discriminatory” for research. This is the only way to ensure the transparency and quality of scientific data. “Of course,” access to the data must ensure the protection of the individual, as defined by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Data protection must be guaranteed and can be guaranteed.

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Kirsten Schneider, Education Economist and Vice Chair of the Council adds: “Our goal is not transparent students, but an education system that is transparent, effective, and equal opportunity. To do this, you have to learn from the past and recognize the potential. This works best with scientifically sound knowledge, which Reliable and comprehensive data is a prerequisite for it.”Transparent policy is in the public interest as is successful policy that masters future missions.(zab, pm)

Leading judgment: Authorities (schools) can rely on IT providers to ensure data protection compliance

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