Depending on the data set, often times demographic data exists at an educator's fingertips. With FERPA guidelines as our guide, educators should only access student personal information for those rostered to them.

Demographic data can tell us so many interesting things about our schools as well as the economic and education levels of the community. While looking for a school to teach at or for parents to enroll their children, data can be found online about the following:

  • state trends in graduation/dropout
  • postsecondary education
  • enrollment
  • schools of choice
  • workforce


  1. Let's begin this section with an activity called PlaySpent. You are going to understand the compromises and choices faced by today's working poor as you go through the interactive game.
  2. Go to the Poverty USA site. There are excellent resources and information to assist students in need. After viewing the data, take the poverty resources quiz and see how you do.
  3. Go to the United States census site for national information. Look up the town your school district resides in. You will find information that you will assist you in knowing better the parents and community that your students are from. You will find information on population, income level for females and males, the median income per family, educational attainment, housing value and how many houses, number of companies and veterans.
  4. After reviewing all these resources you should have gained a better understanding of community demographics. Now it is time to learn more about the subgroups and backgrounds of your students. There are portals which will give you gender, socioeconomical information, race/ethnicity, birthdates, special education, etc.
    • Most states have portals that collect and aggregate student information
    • There are national portals that collect community and state data
    • There are also local student information systems that collect data where parents can see their own child's data.
  5. If you are a Michigan teacher there is a state portal called MiSchoolData. Go to the portal and find your school district under Our Schools at a Glance. You can see the enrollment, graduation rate, foundation allowance, amount of teachers etc. If you are outside of Michigan, locate your own state portal or visit the National Center for Education Statistics.
  6. Next go to your school district's Student Information System (SIS). Look up information such as attendance, gender, socioeconomic, birthdate, or address. Some SIS even places for permission slips, acceptable use policies, or even student achievement data. What does your portal have?
  7. Report out on the type of demographic information for your community and school. How does this impact your school's ability to become Future Ready.

You have completed the lesson. Go to Assessment Module Assignment.