Performance tracking requirements increase for school districts

4-30-2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- In our frequent conversations with school districts and how they use performance data, timing comes up often. One administrator mentioned it’s tough on their schools and teachers when it takes several weeks for the district to get their predictor assessment results in a usable format.

The ease of use and ability to bring together various types of performance and intervention data into one place in a timely manner was a key reason school districts such as Bentonville Public Schools, a high-performing K-12 district in northwestern Arkansas, have selected AllofE’s data warehousing and dash-boarding system Matrix as part of a national Request for Proposals.

Because of the time lag at receiving data, teachers are not able to effectively use the assessment results to prepare for the next assessment, which can undermine their purpose of administering predictor assessments to help with student performance.

The data becomes obsolete. A huge value of interim assessments is that they are taken several times throughout the year, giving teachers benchmarks to address with the same group of students, according to this Educational Research Service study:

“As with annual assessments, interim assessment results generally have the advantage of being comparable across classrooms, but the frequency of their administration means that teachers can use the data to evaluate their own instructional strategies and to track the progress of their current students in a single school year. For instance, data from a district-wide interim assessment could help illuminate whether the students who were struggling to convert fractions to decimals improved after receiving targeted small group instruction, or whether students’ expository essays improved after a unit spent reading and analyzing expository writing.”

So for districts it’s not a question of if they have the data to help teachers analyze and improve student performance. It’s a matter of getting the data into a format teachers can use and obviously being able to place it in their hands and still have enough time to use it.

This issue demonstrates where technology will play a huge role, especially the ability to aggregate different types of data quickly. Otherwise, with the Common Core State Standards shift for most states set to occur in 2014-15, districts will find themselves at a huge disadvantage as performance tracking expectations increase.

For more information about the Matrix project, go to http://schooleffects.com/matrix or contactsales AT allofe DOT com.

About Bentonville School District
The Bentonville School District currently has a student enrollment of 14,696 on 17 campuses—10 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 2 junior high schools, one high school. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year the District will open another new junior high school. In addition to school campuses, there are five other buildings--one administration building, one technology center, one maintenance/transportation center, one athletic center and one pre-school building.

About Matrix
Matrix empowers school districts to improve their data intelligence, decision making and trend analysis capabilities by bringing together data from various sources (demographics, assessments, schedules, behavior etc.) into intuitive, comprehensive reporting dashboards.

About AllofE
AllofE Solutions is a software development company based in Lawrence, Kansas working with corporate and public institutions. For more information, please visit allofe.com.