Improving Outcomes for Arkansas Students
November 4, 2019
Jerry Jones, ForwARd Arkansas Board member and executive vice president and chief legal and ethics officer of LiveRamp
In my professional life, I’ve spent the past 20 years working to help organizations better leverage data to deliver innovative products and meaningful experiences. As a product of the educational system in Arkansas, a parent, concerned citizen and now a board member at ForwARd Arkansas, finding ways to apply my expertise to the public education sector has always been a welcome passion project for me. My mother was a public school teacher in Bentonville for decades, my two sisters were educators and I married a teacher — their commitment to students is something I always admired.
Again and again, my experiences confirm that successful businesses use data-informed decisions to drive change, accomplish goals and produce results. Indeed, for a business not to be actively engaged in the collection and analysis of data-driven operational and customer insights in this day and age would be unthinkable, unprofitable and certainly unsustainable. When data collection and analysis are integrated and aligned across divisions and departments, the entire organization benefits.
Our work to increase broadband access for all K-12 schools in the state was a game-changer. However, that project also uncovered some serious deficiencies: We need to improve systems that break down silos and allow agencies to share information and learn from each other to improve educational outcomes. The sad truth is that, right now, we are not doing a very good job of setting our schools, educators and students up for success.