Journal of Catholic Education Pre-Prints


Data at the Diocesan Level: Common Data Practices and Challenges Among U.S. Catholic School Superintendents

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Accountability pressures in education have risen steadily over the last two decades and public schools and districts now track school- and student-level data in response to state and federal mandates. Catholic schools and dioceses have not faced the same level of regulation over this period, and less is known about data access and use in the Catholic sector. This descriptive and exploratory research draws on survey and interview data from a national sample of Catholic school superintendents to examine data practices in diocesan central offices as well as barriers faced in the use of data. Findings suggest that although considerable variation exists among dioceses, common data efforts include working toward data centralization, developing tools to monitor the operational health of schools, and finding ways to foster the data culture within dioceses. These practices were present in close to half of all dioceses, but several common challenges related to governance, resources, and data systems hindered progress in and toward these efforts.


This article is anticipated to be published in the next issue of the Journal of Catholic Education