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States and districts need the capacity to collect and use high-quality data to make accurate and fair determinations about teacher effectiveness. This capacity requires strong infrastructure, such as data systems that track students and teachers, high-quality student assessment systems, and rigorous teacher evaluation systems. The federal government should be investing heavily, now, to put these prerequisites into place.
Federal investments should help all states complete the development of longitudinal data systems and develop data verification processes and training for key personnel on how to use the data. In the area of assessments, federal investments should fund research and development that would answer important substantive and technical questions about the best ways to measure student learning, develop high-quality national assessments that states could choose to adopt, and develop model assessments in currently untested subject areas.
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