Efficient record-keeping benefits the school system and the student.

Concept illustration: a filing drawer comes out of a screen on a laptop computer.School principals and other education administrators can attest to the advantages of a well-designed record-keeping system. Such a system produces a host of benefits. First and foremost, it gives educators the ability to quickly survey important information about students, such as performance history, attendance, and any disciplinary issues. Beyond that, a comprehensive system provides information about other schools and programs in the district and is a crucial source of data for decision-making.

A well-designed system can allow administrators to quickly transfer records between schools. It can also contain data on a broad range of topics, including staffing, materials, budgeting, and other matters that are critical to the management of a school district or state agency. But perhaps the most important aspect of educational record-keeping involves students. Records track the course of student performance throughout their school career and serve as an indicator of aptitude.

One issue administrators face is how to best preserve these critical records. It’s a simple issue with many possible solutions. Schools, school districts, or state agencies may choose to keep records the old-fashioned way—on paper, in file cabinets. But with advances in automation, that may no longer be the best option. For one thing, records stored this way take up an enormous amount of space. Further, locating and transferring paper records can be time-consuming.

Many districts and education agencies have adopted automated systems, which may still have a paper component. A number of companies offer software for storing student records, and there’s also software for other uses, such as course scheduling, transportation planning, and coursework. The software chosen may be off-the-shelf or custom-designed.

It all comes down to what’s best for an organization’s particular needs. That’s where educational leadership comes in. It takes leadership skills to guide a school or a school system through the selection process for a record-keeping system. If you’re an administrator such as a school principal, you can pursue an Education Specialist (EdS) or Doctor of Education (EdD) degree online. Online programs are also available for those interested in becoming a principal. These programs allow students to complete their studies on their own schedule, while still working full time. And, critically, they prepare them for the tough decisions they will have to make when choosing how to keep student and other records safe, secure, and accessible.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering Doctor of Education (EdD), PhD in Education, and Education Specialist (EdS) programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


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