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STATS-DC 2010 NCES Data Conference

Concurrent Session VIII Presentations

Thursday, July 29, 2010

VIII–A Evaluating Teachers by Student Growth
Neal Gibson, Arkansas Department of Education
    Both Race to the Top and State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Part 2, require that at least half of administrator and teacher evaluations be tied to “student growth.” The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) has tied three years of student growth percentiles to individual teachers, creating visualizations and reports from these data that were then shared with administrators. This presentation will give a brief overview of the difficulties associated with linking teachers and students, along with what we discovered when student growth was tied to individual teachers.

Workshop:  Who is MOE? Using the American Community Survey for Education Data (Part I)
ElanaBroch, Princeton Unversity, Office of Population Research

    The American Community Survey (ACS) has replaced the long form of the decennial Census. This ongoing survey can be used for state- and district-level data on educational attainment. However, the statistical landscape has changed (fewer people complete this survey than completed the long form) and users need to be aware of these changes. This presentation will address the MOE (Margin of Error) that needs to be incorporated when interpreting ACS data and the issues in comparing data from year to year.

Advanced High School Courses and Demographic Disparities in Educational Outcomes:  Evidence From Florida’s Education Data Warehouse
Dylan Conger, George Washington University

    With data from the Florida Department of Education, this session presents research that examines the role that advanced high school course-taking plays in educational outcome gaps between racial, socioeconomic, and gender groups. Specifically, the study examines the effects of high school courses on postsecondary outcomes; the determinants of demographic gaps in advanced high school course-taking; and the drivers of variation in high school course offerings across Florida’s schools. In addition to providing a summary of the major findings from the research, the presentation will focus on how the data from the Florida Education Data Warehouse were used to conduct the analyses.

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Using Data to Improve Decision Making at the Central Office: Examples From a New District and University Partnership
Sarah Cohodes, Harvard University, Center for Education Policy Research
Andrew Baxter, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (North Carolina)

    The Center for Education Policy Research and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) have embarked on a new partnership that unites university-based researchers with school district staff as part of the Strategic Data Project (SDP). SDP provides district leadership with evidence from their schools that helps them make decisions that improve student achievement. A recent report on strategic use of human capital in CMS is a crucial component of this collaboration. The presenters will describe teachers’ recruitment, placement, development, evaluation, and retention in CMS and how they connect to student achievement. The presenters will also discuss how CMS has used this research in district decisions and policies.
VIII–E Electronic Transcript Exchange—A Vision for the Future
John DiPirro, California Schools Information Services
Dan Domagala, Colorado Department of Education
Jim Addy, Iowa Department of Education
    This panel discussion will cover best practices for implementing electronic student record and transcript exchange on a statewide level. Panel presenters include longtime eTranscript advocates from California School Information Services (CSIS), the Iowa Department of Education, and the Colorado Department of Education. Each of these states has a broad vision for a statewide system that includes district-to-district student record exchange, higher education transcript exchange, extending that system to other state agencies, and even beyond. Come learn about their vision, the hurdles they have encountered, the benefits and shortcomings of paper versus electronic processes, best practices, and innovative ways of utilizing electronic exchange.

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Identifying and Using Key Data to Drive Student Improvement and Preparation for College
Patrick Sherrill, U.S. Department of Education
Keith Krueger, Consortium for School Networking
Jerry Weast, Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland)

    The U.S. Department of Education’s EDFacts Initiative and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) are leaders in promoting the use of data-driven decision making for improved teaching and learning.  The use of data at the state, district, and school levels is critical in driving a reform agenda. This session will showcase the work of Dr. Jerry Weast, Superintendent of Schools for Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools, in using key data to drive student improvement and preparation for college. Dr. Weast is currently directing an ambitious comprehensive reform effort designed to raise the academic standards and narrow the achievement gap for nearly 140,000 students in the largest and most diverse school system in Maryland and the sixteenth largest district in the nation. Dr. Weast will discuss key factors associated with successful student outcomes and his work in using data on those factors to drive student improvement and improved preparation for college.

Achieving Successful Business Operations and Reporting Through PESC Standards and Services
Michael Sessa, Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC)
Jeff Alderson, ConnectEDU, Inc.
David Moldoff, AcademyOne, Inc.

    The need for data standards has never been greater. Data standards by themselves though are only part of the overall answer. Combined with political will and unprecedented funding, the moment to institute sustainable overall solutions is before us. This session will focus on how to achieve successful business transactions, that is the identification of needed standardized data elements and the means by which to transport them whether it be from state to state, institution to institution, or country to country. This session will also touch on the evolution of transcripts and how they relate to academic e-portfolios.

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Making Postsecondary Data Useful to K–12 Educators: Lessons From the National Student Clearinghouse Pilot
Levette Williams and Sheril Smith, Georgia Department of Education
Jeff Tanner, National Student Clearinghouse
Leslie Hall, MPR Associates, Inc.

    The National Student Clearinghouse Pilot: Tracking Postsecondary Outcomes for High Schools project aims to develop high-quality, actionable reports and tools linking K–12 and postsecondary data that can be used by schools, districts, and states to improve the college readiness and success of their students. These tools are being developed in collaboration with state and local partners in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. This session will review lessons learned from the first year of the pilot and provide examples of actionable reports that present postsecondary outcomes for a K–12 audience.
VIII–I Taking Control of Data Quality:  Herding the Cats and Riding the Bulls
Bruce Hislop, Prince George’s County Public Schools (Maryland)
    We know that clean, valid data are necessary for appropriate decision making, but ensuring data quality is difficult. The key to this is making people care about the quality of their data, and the key to that is holding them accountable for their data quality through key performance indicators. This presentation outlines what one local system is doing by working with offices to identify risks to data quality and specific data rules to capture errors, developing processes to correct these errors in sources systems, and eventually creating accountability measures for data quality.