Public education in the U.S. is placing higher and higher value on the collection, presentation, and use of data as an important component of an effort to improve the nation’s schools. Policy makers are actively using data to evaluate programs and using research to design programs and interventions. This is in sharp contrast with past practice in which leaders often cited data to support pre-formulated positions. With the introduction of the No Child Left Behind Act, states are also collecting and disaggregating data in order to track the achievement of different groups of students. The growing emphasis on using data to support decision-making is encouraging greater attention to developing effective data systems at both the state and local levels. School districts clearly have the potential to play an important role in bringing data to bear on a host of decisions that affect children, but their capacity and progress in developing data systems varies widely. The purpose of this paper is to report findings from a review of research conducted by Springboard Schools to examine data systems and their use within school districts and explore how state policy can aid in data management and data use at the district level.