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Forum Guide to Metadata
NFES 2009-805
July 2009

Metadata: Solving the Case of the Inaccurate Dropout Count, Chapter 3

Continued from Exhibit 2.3.

Mr. Olsen, the district's data guru, spent the next day reviewing each step in the process used to generate the state dropout report. He traced Lincoln High's data from the moment they entered his system to their submission to the state education agency. He checked the dropout calculation formula, looked for rounding errors, reran edit checks, examined verification procedures, and compared the results to those of peer schools in the district. After seven hours of diligent review, he was pleased to announce with confidence to Superintendent Sanders and Principal Howell that the error had not originated in his office. While they were pleased to hear that the district's data team was doing its job correctly, the two educators were disappointed that the problem hadn't been solved. "So if the error didn't originate at the district level," Principal Howell said dejectedly, "it came from my school." "I'm afraid that seems to be the case," Superintendent Sanders agreed. "Okay, then," Mr. Howell replied resolutely, "we'll go through our data submission process tomorrow from top to bottom to locate the problem."

Continued in Exhibit 4.4.