The Promise of Administrative Data in Education Research

David Figlio, Krzysztof Karbownik, Kjell Salvanes, Education Finance, Policy, Apr 04, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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"Although these data are collected for purely administrative purposes," write the authors, "they represent remarkable new opportunities for expanding our knowledge." This short essay (8 page PDF) examines some of the purposes to which administrative data in education could be put, and raises some of the issues associated with using data in this way. "Administrative datasets are collected for different reasons than research, and the types of variables that are captured in administrative data often do not comport with the types of variables that testing many educational and social science theories demands." There are also, of course, issues with privacy and security. Good essay, cogently written. Image: OECD.

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