Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Long and Short Decisions - We need flexible tools

Engineers without Fears point out an important consideration for those building decision support systems for educational leaders. The large temporal grain size of state data systems lead to the creation of systems to support "long" decisions - those problems that allow time for consultation and consideration. The problem with this notion is that leaders a the district or school level often have to make "short" shoot-from-the-hip decisions and have little structured information to consider when the time to decide arrives. Many leaders will have to rely on the resources provided by the state - even though they were not provided for that purpose and may be unreliable in a "short" context.

The creation of robust use cases that help design "long" decision resources need to be accompanied by cases that show the appropriate use of such data in "short" situations. These cases should also outline how data likely to be available to local decision makers can be combine with state data to make better decisions.


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