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STATS-DC 2010 NCES Data Conference

Concurrent Session IV Presentations

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Efficiency Comparisons of the 100 Largest U.S. Public School Districts
Walter Garrett, Saint Louis University, John Cook School of Business
Martha Ann Garrett, Special School District of St. Louis County (Missouri)

    The presenters of this session will compare the relative efficiencies of the 100 largest U.S. public school districts and suggest conclusions to be drawn from that comparison. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Core of Common Data report of largest-district characteristics were analyzed using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA)–a mathematical technique that identifies the most efficient districts and calculates improvement possibilities for less-efficient districts. This presentation includes a simple tutorial on how to use and interpret DEA, and describes how any local district could use this method to benchmark its own performance characteristics.

Colorado Growth Model:  Changing Conversations About School Performance
Daniel Domagala, Colorado Department of Education

    The question of how to measure a year’s worth of student growth is what launched Colorado into years of research and refinement that produced a percentile-based methodology called the Colorado Growth Model. Visualization tools soon followed to showcase student growth and change conversations regarding academic performance. This presentation will trace the history of the Colorado Growth Model, demonstrate Colorado’s current SchoolView visualization tool, and chart a course for the future.

Identification, Distribution, and School-Level Allocation: Providing a Poverty Index Model Recognizing Distinctive Needs of Schools
Carlee Poston Escue, University of Cincinnati
R. CraigWood, University of Florida, College of Education

    This presentation will feature a research study that was designed to expand upon identifying possible poverty indicators using readily available Adequate Yearly Progress reports and discuss applications of values and weights when incorporating these indicators into a Poverty Index Model. This Poverty Index Model would address vertical equity funding for the educational needs of children living in poverty. The funding for this model will be distributed at the school level. This would allow the school to allocate the funding based on the unique characteristics, values, and needs specific to the particular school. This study recognizes that each school has a distinctive need that merits recognition when determining funding uses. The possible poverty indicators also demonstrate alternative perspectives and measuring devices confronting the status quo identification of children living in poverty.

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IV–D The Final Frontier:  Tracking High School Graduates in College
Andrew Setzer and Ellen Moore
Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Education Services Regional Information Center (New York)
    This presentation will explain a process that supports the expectation for districts to evaluate how their high school graduates do in college. Facilitators will demonstrate how 46 Suffolk districts participated in a project to gather data, create reports, and assemble questions that focus on the issues. Highlighted will be how the data was gathered quickly, inexpensively, and comprehensively. Shares will include report suggestions and a list of questions that might be asked by districts around this data.

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Workshop:  A District’s Approach to Using Data to Improve Educational Outcomes (Part I)
Mwarumba Mwavita, Joe Kitchens, and Lisa McLaughlin
Western Heights Public Schools (Oklahoma)

    Educators at all levels—from local classrooms to district offices to state and federal education agencies—must recognize that true school improvement, the type that is lasting and meaningful, will occur only when school systems and agencies are simultaneously supported via interdependent, classroom-driven, longitudinal data systems that provide near real-time, appropriately aggregated/disaggregated data to students, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders, including state and federal agencies. This workshop will demonstrate how a school district’s longitudinal data system (LDS) has impacted student learning, instruction, and school culture toward a focused agenda–that of learning.
IV–F It Does Take a Village to Submit Data to EDFacts
Bobbi Stettner-Eaton and Meredith Miceli, U.S. Department of Education
Karl Pond, Kelley Steen, and Mary Watson, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
    This session will review how state staff worked through the trials and tribulations of data submission and problem-solving resolutions, to gain mutual benefits from their partnership as a team. State staff will provide real-life examples and strategies for how they have struggled and continue to struggle with their coordination efforts to reconcile data submissions to EDFacts. Both federal and state program staff will present their perspectives.

Recognizing Excellence—A Look at States That Are Leading the Way in Student-Level Data Collection
Barbara Roewe, Oklahoma Department of Education
Peter Coleman, Virginia Department of Education
Meredith Bickell, Wyoming Department of Education
Jim Campbell, SIF Association

    In 2010, the SIF Excellence Awards recognized three states that are true leaders in student-level data collection. The SIF Excellence Awards Finalists include Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wyoming. This panel will share insights into their extraordinary work in student-level data collection, discuss lessons learned, reveal their next steps, and provide an opportunity for audience dialogue. Come see why these states were nominated and recognized as SIF Excellence Awards Finalists!

The Common Data Standards (CDS) Initiative: A Local, State, and Higher Education Perspective
Linda Rocks, Bossier Parish Schools (Louisiana)
Patsy Eiland, Alabama Department of Education
Ken Sauer, Indiana Commission for Higher Education
Corey Chatis, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    The Common Data Standards (CDS) Initiative is a national, collaborative effort to develop voluntary, common data standards for a key subset of K–12 (e.g., demographics, program participation, course information) and K–12-to-postsecondary education transition variables. Participants in the initiative include representatives from states, districts, higher education organizations, and key non-profit organizations. These standards will increase data interoperability, portability, and comparability across states, districts, and higher education organizations. Hear from members of the CDS Technical Working Group on why your organization should be interested and how you can provide input into the process.
IV–I The Road Less Traveled:  Using Data-Driven Decision Making in Your SLDS Project!?
Denise Airola, Sean Mulvenon, and Karee Dunn, University of Arkansas
Mickey Garrison, Oregon Department of Education
    A three- to four-year window of time to accomplish what you set out to do with your statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS) grant goes by in the blink of an eye, often leaving evaluation of the project out of the equation. The Oregon Direct Access to Achievement (DATA) Project started with evaluation in mind. How has this plan worked for Oregon’s SLDS? Presenters will share early findings from the evaluation of the Oregon DATA Project to provide professional development (1) to school and district leaders in the use of data to inform school improvement decisions and (2) to teachers in the use of data to inform instructional decisions. Do professional development in assessment literacy and job-embedded support for data use impact teachers’ and leaders’ practices in the classroom, school, and district? How has this effort impacted the development of Oregon’s LDS and next steps?  This session will address these questions.