The Data Wall Debate Gets Real

The article I did on data walls yesterday is stimulating a great deal of conversation.  I think that is awesome.  Something like this should be talked about.  There seems to be two general sides: those who feel data walls shame struggling students and those who think this will scar children by taking away these components of education.  One person on a Facebook group said we are turning kids into wussies and our country will go down the toilet.  Others feel it is a waste of a teacher’s time and energy.  Both sides have some valid arguments, but I want to make a few things clear.

The pictures in the article were not taken by me.  They were also intentionally blurry because student pictures are on the wall.  I can’t really argue for data privacy while putting up hundreds  of kids pictures up so anyone can see them.  This was an academic data wall with three colors ranging from a bottom red to a top green.

I haven’t heard back from any of the Delaware superintendents or charter leaders.  But I have heard from tens of thousands of teachers, in Delaware, the USA and even countries like New Zealand, Germany, and Japan.  I found out states like Oregon have laws specifically banning data walls.  The vast majority of teachers, well over 95%, are against these data walls.  Most of them are required to do it and the mandates are serious.  I will be exploring this topic much more in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, I stand ready to start filing FERPA violations on Thursday night if I am not taken seriously.  Let’s keep this conversation going.  It is important.

There were no data walls when I was a kid.  My child never experienced data walls like this.  So this is very new to me.