Florida Schools Steer by Numbers
Data warehouse tracks key college-going markers.
When a scholarship opportunity crosses her desk, Christine Siwek doesn’t have to use guesswork to identify students who would be most qualified. With a few computer keystrokes, she taps into a wealth of data she can use to help students find the best college options and the financial aid that will help them get there.
Siwek, a postsecondary adviser at Cooper City High School in Broward County, Fla., uses a combination of data provided by the school district and material she has collected to get information to students. Her databases provide Siwek with pertinent information about students, including grade point averages, the level of courses they have taken, their test scores, and their postsecondary career interests.
Florida has been hailed as one of the nation’s bright spots in the use of longitudinal data, with a history of building an information-rich “data warehouse” that connects K-12, postsecondary, and workforce information. Educators and policymakers at the state, district, and school levels are using the reams of data to improve schools, and students and parents have been given access to students’ information to help them plan for a future that...
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