Chat

Delivering Data to Improve Schools

Friday, March 29, 2013, 2 to 3 p.m. ET
Click here for more information about this chat.

Note: No special equipment other than Internet access is needed to participate in any of our text-based chats. Participants may begin submitting questions the morning of the chat.

 Delivering Data to Improve Schools(03/29/2013) 
9:21
Bryan Toporek: 
Good morning, folks, and welcome to today's free live chat, Delivering Data to Improve Schools, sponsored by SAS. I've just opened the chat for questions, so please feel free to start submitting yours below.

We'll be back at 2 p.m. ET with Laura Hansen and Paige Kowalski. We hope you can join us!
Friday March 29, 2013 9:21 Bryan Toporek
1:50
Bryan Toporek: 

Thanks for joining us for today's free live chat, Delivering Data to Improve Schools, sponsored by SAS. We'll be getting underway in about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, please continue to submit any questions you have below!  

Friday March 29, 2013 1:50 Bryan Toporek
1:59
Bryan Toporek: 
Alright, folks, I'm turning control of today's chat over to our moderator, Katie Ash. Take it away, Katie!
Friday March 29, 2013 1:59 Bryan Toporek
1:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Thanks, Bryan! And thanks to all of you for joining us here today.
Friday March 29, 2013 1:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
1:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
First off, I'd like to ask our two guests to please introduce themselves.
Friday March 29, 2013 1:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
1:59
Paige Kowalski: 
Thanks, Katie. Hi everyone! I’m the director of state policy for the Data Quality Campaign, a national, non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in DC. DQC supports state policymakers and other key leaders to promote the effective use of data in efforts to improve student outcomes. My goal today is to illuminate some of the challenges, opportunities, and emerging practices without taking you too far into the weeds; I’ll provide links to content when appropriate so you can dig deeper if interested. You can learn more about us at www.dataqualitycampaign.org! I’m excited to join you all today and hope that I can answer your questions. My contact information is on our website and I’d be happy to answer or clarify anything after the chat.
Friday March 29, 2013 1:59 Paige Kowalski
2:00
Laura Hansen: 
My name is Laura Hansen and I'm the Director for Information Management and Decision Support for Metro Nashville Public Schools. In this capacity I focus in on the use of data for decision making not only internally by our school leadership, teachers and staff, but also by community partners, parents and students. We have an extensive longitudinal data warehouse and a data quality staff that makes sure the information is accurate and timely.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:00 Laura Hansen
2:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great! Thank you both so much for being here and sharing your expertise with us today.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
We've got a lot of questions lined up, so let's just jump right in. Here's a question from Kathleen...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:00
[Comment From KathleenKathleen: ] 
Are districts investing sufficiently in the "information management" personnel to provide the needed support for teachers and administrators? How important is it for there to be someone (or several people) charged with facilitating effective use of all the data that is being collected?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:00 Kathleen
2:01
Laura Hansen: 
Extremely important. Our district has focused on not being "vendor dependent" in order that we can customize and respond to our stakeholder's needs efficiently and without a bunch of additional costs.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:01 Laura Hansen
2:02
Paige Kowalski: 
Kathleen, Laura will be your best resource on this but it is absolutely critical that there are folks responsible at each level for managing and using data effectively. Often this is one person or it's a team but there needs to be a focus on this for it to happen.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:02 Paige Kowalski
2:02
Laura Hansen: 
My experience is that most districts do not invest in this area. We are very lucky that our district prioritizes this, and it has allowed us to create a number of tools and reports that deliver data that our teachers, leaders, and staff need.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:02 Laura Hansen
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great. Here's another question from Rick.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
[Comment From Rick ChristoffersonRick Christofferson: ] 
What features of student information management systems and learning management systems are most important in delivering data to improve schools?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:03 Rick Christofferson
2:03
Laura Hansen: 
We have a data warehouse technical team, a set of business intelligence specialists that work in the area of data governance and professional learning around data, as well as a data quality team made up of about 28 individuals, school based and at central office
Friday March 29, 2013 2:03 Laura Hansen
2:04
Laura Hansen: 
User friendly interfaces that show relevent data in an understandable way. Data visualization is extremely important.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:04 Laura Hansen
2:04
Laura Hansen: 
Ease of data entry is also a key aspect. Collection of data is a number one focus area, and if it is hard to collecxt, the quality will be less than desirable.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:04 Laura Hansen
2:04
Paige Kowalski: 
Rick, it's important to think about what the district can provide with these tools but also what role the state can play to ensure that opportunities to leverage these tools are equal across high and low capacity districts.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:04 Paige Kowalski
2:05
Laura Hansen: 
Integration is also something to think about. Data silos in this day and age will be more trouble than they are worth. Being able to marry data across systems is key.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:05 Laura Hansen
2:05
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great point, Laura. Interoperability seems like a challenge for many districts and states.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:05 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Along the same lines, here's a question from Michael....
Friday March 29, 2013 2:06 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
[Comment From Michael SchlesingerMichael Schlesinger: ] 
Can you tell us a little about the professional learning around data -- especially ways you ensure that staff does not misuse data, e.g., make invalid inferences from trend data?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:06 Michael Schlesinger
2:06
Laura Hansen: 
Making sure interopability is part of any RFP is very important.. and having people who know what that is supposed to look like technically is as well.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:06 Laura Hansen
2:07
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What kind of training are teachers receiving in how to use and analyze data? And how does that compare with what kind of training they actually receive?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:07 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:07
Laura Hansen: 
Our district has a cadre of data coaches that work directly with schools to help them learn how to best leverage the data
Friday March 29, 2013 2:07 Laura Hansen
2:07
Paige Kowalski: 
Michael, you've just teed up a focus of DQC's for this year...data literacy! We have some great examples out there around the technical aspects of data quality (see Kansas) but now it's time to focus on how educators can use (and not misuse) data.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:07 Paige Kowalski
2:07
Laura Hansen: 
We also have a Research and Assessment department that provides guidance on validity of evaluation of data when it's required.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:07 Laura Hansen
2:08
Paige Kowalski: 
DQC gets to this in our State Action 9; as of 2012 only 6 states have taken all the actions necessary to receive credit on our annual survey. http://dataqualitycampaign.org/stateanalysis/actions/9/
Friday March 29, 2013 2:08 Paige Kowalski
2:08
Laura Hansen: 
We also have a person that is looking at providing online resources and professional learning communities (digitally based) to expand the access to resources and best practices around the use of data
Friday March 29, 2013 2:08 Laura Hansen
2:08
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Laura, that sounds similar to this guest's district:
Friday March 29, 2013 2:08 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:08
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Our school system has Data Support Specialist that scaffold the comprehension of data for teachers and district leaders.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:08 Guest
2:09
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's another question from Tracy...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:09 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:09
[Comment From Tracy DrewTracy Drew: ] 
What is the one thing you wish assessment companies would start doing in reporting their data that would have the greatest impact in enabling its usage among educators?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:09 Tracy Drew
2:09
Laura Hansen: 
Our data coaches also work with the school based instructional coaches to spread the discipline of use of data and apply it directly to instructional approaches in the classroom.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:09 Laura Hansen
2:09
Paige Kowalski: 
we are seeing more schools, districts, and states adopt the idea of Data Coaches.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:09 Paige Kowalski
2:10
Paige Kowalski: 
Tracy, DQC's work is with states and we encourage them to deliver timely actionable assessment data to the folks that need it most. teachers, principals, parents and students themselves.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:10 Paige Kowalski
2:10
Laura Hansen: 
Make the data exportable and not require a separate interface to access it. Integrating assessment data with other districxt data resources extends the power of the data analysis.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:10 Laura Hansen
2:10
Paige Kowalski: 
See this video from Georgia about how the state has enabled access to data for teachers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaZk57oNLkA
Friday March 29, 2013 2:10 Paige Kowalski
2:11
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's another question about data usage.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:11 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:11
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Do your schools use any kind of usage reports to indicate who is using the data, what data they are using. What is done with these usage reports?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:11 Guest
2:12
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Is that something you're tracking, Laura?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:12 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:12
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are do data usage reports play a part in how well states use data, Paige?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:12 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:12
Laura Hansen: 
Yes.. we have utilization statistics based on the role of the user (i.e teacher), as well as the ability to see what reports are most commonly used.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:12 Laura Hansen
2:13
Paige Kowalski: 
Katie, it is always important to monitor usage through webstats and such but engaging directly with local stakeholders is the best way to determine use.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:13 Paige Kowalski
2:13
Laura Hansen: 
The utilization statistics are wonderful in allowing us to see if we are making improvement with our goals around extending data driven decision making
Friday March 29, 2013 2:13 Laura Hansen
2:13
Paige Kowalski: 
Generally, even just a few conversations with teachers and principals will help a state understand the usefulness of any given report.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:13 Paige Kowalski
2:13
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great. Here's a question that seems best suited for Laura:
Friday March 29, 2013 2:13 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:13
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Which came first for your school district, the technology/infrastructure or the personnel to support capacity building? How did you decide which to focus on first? Who within the district led that charge?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:13 Guest
2:14
Laura Hansen: 
Paige, I agree... we do focus groups and talk with our data coaches regularly to get information on how data is bieng used and what additional reporting is needed.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:14 Laura Hansen
2:14
Paige Kowalski: 
Laura, that's because Nashville is amazing and very lucky to have you :)
Friday March 29, 2013 2:14 Paige Kowalski
2:15
Laura Hansen: 
The focus was led by the leadership with regard to data.. and our state advised us that we needed to use data better as we were threatened with state takeover due to lack of performance.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:15 Laura Hansen
2:15
Laura Hansen: 
This led to the creation of the data warehouse to bring data together to get a better idea of where we were
Friday March 29, 2013 2:15 Laura Hansen
2:15
Paige Kowalski: 
Katie, i can't answer for a district but we generally encourage folks to get the people in place who understand that systems should be built around stakeholder needs. Having IT without understanding purpose and use doesn't get us anywhere.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:15 Paige Kowalski
2:16
Laura Hansen: 
The teachnical team was built to develop the data warehouse and basic reporting.. Then the staff was acquired to extend the use of the tool into the district and gather feedback to create enhanced reporting that best fit their needs
Friday March 29, 2013 2:16 Laura Hansen
2:16
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Well, it sounds like Nashville has really been ahead of the curve in terms of their use of data. Here's a question from Kate about that:
Friday March 29, 2013 2:16 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:16
[Comment From KateKate: ] 
It sounds like Metro Nashville has a robust system for data collection and for analyzing that data to inform student outcomes, but what about those districts where the resources aren't readily available or they just need help improving their data collection processes, does DQC provide resources?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:16 Kate
2:17
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What do you think, Paige? Where can districts go for resources and support to help create a more robust data system?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:17 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:17
Paige Kowalski: 
Hi Kate, DQC doesn't provide resources directly to districts. CoSN and SIFA are good places for districts to have a technical conversation but I strongly recommend you connect with program and data folks at the state level.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:17 Paige Kowalski
2:17
Laura Hansen: 
Kate, I think that is one of the roles of the state in my opinion. To help esure that affordable and effective tools are available for the districts. States are perfectly suited to broker deals with vendors that can make them affordable.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:17 Laura Hansen
2:18
Paige Kowalski: 
Their job should be to find innovative ways to support lower capacity districts and help them put processes and infrastructure and capacity in place to support effective data use.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:18 Paige Kowalski
2:19
Paige Kowalski: 
This support may be in training, funding, actual tools, or simply the delivery of better data than what the district had to begin with. States developing and delivering growth data for example is a huge value to lower capacity districts who can't link data longitudinally and warehouse it.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:19 Paige Kowalski
2:19
Laura Hansen: 
Kate, I have to say that DQC and other agencies and even the DOE often have conferences or learning opportunities to get information on best practices around data collecxtion. STATS DC is one of those that i have gleened a great deal of information from
Friday March 29, 2013 2:19 Laura Hansen
2:19
Paige Kowalski: 
DQC has a policy brief about how states can shift from compliance to service for districts around data http://dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/details/1455
Friday March 29, 2013 2:19 Paige Kowalski
2:20
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question about the type of data that is being collected from Michael.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:20 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:20
[Comment From Michael SchlesingerMichael Schlesinger: ] 
Have you been able to expand/broaden the types of data that schools use? Not just focus on state or interim test results?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:20 Michael Schlesinger
2:21
Paige Kowalski: 
Michael, DQC has long advocated on the 10 Essential Elements of a state data system....state test scores are just one of ten elements! we encourage states to emphasize program, enrollment, outcome, college ready tests, demographics, etc. as well.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:21 Paige Kowalski
2:21
Laura Hansen: 
Michael, we use all the information that is collected from our student management system, which includes extensive demographic, attendance, discipline, grades, assessments, etc.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:21 Laura Hansen
2:21
Paige Kowalski: 
Early warning systems are some of the best uses of these data and state assessments play very little role. predictive analytics are powerful!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:21 Paige Kowalski
2:22
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question regarding the role of the federal government in data...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:22 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:22
Paige Kowalski: 
here is a little about what states are doing with regard to early warning systems http://dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/details/1659
Friday March 29, 2013 2:22 Paige Kowalski
2:22
Laura Hansen: 
Michael, We have also ventured outside of the school walls to work with out of school time providers to collect participation data, and are working to incorporate post secondary data and eventually health data into the system. Financial data is also on the list, and we recently completed a projecxt to start marrying HR data, teacher evaluation data, etc, with student outcome information
Friday March 29, 2013 2:22 Laura Hansen
2:22
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What is the federal government's role in making sure data can be analyzed in a meaningful way for federal civil rights purposes? I know they did a great service by making the CRDC http://ocrdata.ed.gov/ public, but because of differences in state / federal data collection, many of the states have trouble reporting. Is there any effort to integrate data collection with the Office of Civil Rights database?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:22 Guest
2:23
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Is that something you've been following at all, Paige?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:23 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:23
Paige Kowalski: 
I know that there is conversation here in DC to make this data collection even better and more integrated but I don't know the current status of this. I do know that the federal government is interested in helping states better leverage information and in ensuring that federal data collections are efficient and effective.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:23 Paige Kowalski
2:23
Laura Hansen: 
With regard to federal data... I would love to see data standards used so that data could flow from the district, to the state and ultimately the feds and be something that is consistant.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:23 Laura Hansen
2:24
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
speaking of data standards...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:24 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:24
[Comment From dr.p@instructionalleadershipsolutions.comdr.p@instructionalleadershipsolutions.com: ] 
"and the lack of adoption of data standards" - I find this interesting - can someone list some data standards that could be proposed for adoption? Benn an Educational Research and Data Analyst for most of my career - this is a relatively new concept to me although I suppose PARCC will generally standardize all educational data components www.instructionalleadershipsolutions.com Dr. P:-)
Friday March 29, 2013 2:24 dr.p@instructionalleadershipsolutions.com
2:25
Laura Hansen: 
Paige... I would love to see the Feds thinking more globally and rather than just thinking about states use... dive deeper and think about district use... that will help get the consistency that we really need in reporting and getting data back down to a usable level at the district
Friday March 29, 2013 2:25 Laura Hansen
2:25
Paige Kowalski: 
Dr P, please take a look at the Common Education Data Standards work at ceds.ed.gov
Friday March 29, 2013 2:25 Paige Kowalski
2:26
Laura Hansen: 
Yes... we are starting to look at CEDS ourselves. It's a great framework with data defintions already done. There are mapping tools as well to allow an organization to see where they are with regard to the suggsted CEDS standards
Friday March 29, 2013 2:26 Laura Hansen
2:26
Paige Kowalski: 
I don't believe that the assessment consortia will get into data standards but please take a look at their respective websites for any further information.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:26 Paige Kowalski
2:26
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's another question from Phil.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:26 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:26
[Comment From Phil SaurmanPhil Saurman: ] 
Do you also gather and cost/financial information with which to make comparisons and cost/benefit analysis?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:26 Phil Saurman
2:26
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Laura: does your district use data in that way?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:26 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:27
Laura Hansen: 
Phil, That is an area that we are prioritizing and currently doing the prelimary work needed to pull that data into our data warehouse so that we can marry it with other data (such as student achievement and program data) to see where our dollars are having the most impact.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:27 Laura Hansen
2:27
Paige Kowalski: 
I encourage you to look at the work around collecting and linking financial data in Texas and Oregon.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:27 Paige Kowalski
2:27
Paige Kowalski: 
And Tennesee!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:27 Paige Kowalski
2:28
Laura Hansen: 
Looking at spending on staff is also an area that we are looking into. IT's interesting to see the correlation between spending and performance/achievement!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:28 Laura Hansen
2:28
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I bet that is interesting, Laura!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:28 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:28
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's another finance-related question:
Friday March 29, 2013 2:28 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:28
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
With all the state budget cuts are you seeing less emphasis being placed on data collection by districts (of course this would by state), but in general has there been a downplay?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:28 Guest
2:29
Paige Kowalski: 
I can happily say NO!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:29 Paige Kowalski
2:29
Paige Kowalski: 
Data is becoming more of a priority as state and local leaders are tyring to understand what is working and allocate valuable resources towards that to ensure kids get a great education and graduate college career ready.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:29 Paige Kowalski
2:29
Laura Hansen: 
We have prioritized it in the district and even with funding woes, this is not an area that is on the table for cuts. In fact our district is looking at how to bring some RTTT funded postions around data into the operating budget.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:29 Laura Hansen
2:30
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That's great.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:30 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:30
Paige Kowalski: 
in 2009 just 8 states funded their P20 state system and in 2012 we saw 36 states funding them. We continue to be impressed with this level of commitment even in the hardest of budget times.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:30 Paige Kowalski
2:31
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Fantastic. Here's a question for you, Paige.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:31 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:31
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Paige, I'm interested in your perspective on what states can do to support data use in smaller districts. Not so much with providing the technology or reports, but helping people actually make use of the information. Are there state approaches that others should consider?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:31 Guest
2:31
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are there certain states who stand out in this department?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:31 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:32
Paige Kowalski: 
I encourage you to look at the Oregon Data Project (oregondataproject.org). This is an initative from the state to train all teachers and principals in the effective use of data. They have seen results in student achievement! They have a multi-year evaluation posted on their website and many videos and materials.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:32 Paige Kowalski
2:33
Paige Kowalski: 
Several of the RTT states are prioritizing data literacy, primarily through data coaches but also in building out more information to just get folks exposed to new ways of thinking about data. check out the RI Data Hub http://www.ridatahub.org/
Friday March 29, 2013 2:33 Paige Kowalski
2:33
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
So many great resources. Thanks Paige!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:33 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:33
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Erin...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:33 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:33
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Erin Prangley (AAUW) Are states working to make the data systems more public like the federal CRDC system? I think it would be great for parents and education advocates.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:33 Guest
2:33
Paige Kowalski: 
Also, we're hoping to encourage teacher prep to engage in this as well.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:33 Paige Kowalski
2:34
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Do parents have access to education data? Laura, is that something your district has available? And Paige, is that a priority for states?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:34 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:34
Laura Hansen: 
Paige... teacher prep is such an important and high leverage strategy to get data literacy into the classroom!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:34 Laura Hansen
2:34
Paige Kowalski: 
Erin, i just posted the RI website but also take a look at schoolview.org for CO information. States are now priortizing access and thinking of ways to get information out to the most critical stakeholders in a user friendly way.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:34 Paige Kowalski
2:35
Paige Kowalski: 
We just posted a blog on state report cards....our findings are a bit dismal but we're seeing progress! http://dataqualitycampaign.org/2013/02/11/My-Search-for-52-State-Report-Cards
Friday March 29, 2013 2:35 Paige Kowalski
2:35
Laura Hansen: 
Yes.. our parents have access to their student's data through a product called Gradespeed. We also have scorecards that are public and made up of aggregate data by school so parents can see how their school is doing. OUr state also has report cards with great data on it at the district and school level.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:35 Laura Hansen
2:35
Paige Kowalski: 
also, make sure to watch the GA video i posted earlier in the chat.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:35 Paige Kowalski
2:36
Paige Kowalski: 
Utah just passed a state law for the creation of a student data backpack so that parents have access to their child's data and it moves with them. gives them the control over who can access it as well. Boston is looking at something similar.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:36 Paige Kowalski
2:36
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Very interesting...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:36 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:36
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
here's a question with a more national view...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:36 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:36
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
With Common Core, do you envision more sharing among states?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:36 Guest
2:36
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Paige, is that something that you're seeing momentum behind?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:36 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
Paige Kowalski: 
There are so many challenges to share data across state lines. And these challenges are different if we're talking about student level data or aggregate data. I know that states are looking for ways to begin these conversations so that they can work at a bigger scale to better understand problems and solutions.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:37 Paige Kowalski
2:38
Laura Hansen: 
I certainly hope so!! I know our district is looking forward to being able to benchmark ourselves against other states and districts to get a better sense of where we are. Sometimes what you think is good isn't so great once you see that others are scoring higher in other areas against the same standards. Great way to find best practices and learn from others
Friday March 29, 2013 2:38 Laura Hansen
2:38
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question for Laura:
Friday March 29, 2013 2:38 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:38
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
So you have an in-house system and not an outside vendor? What about requests for additional reports that teachers may want. How are those handled.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:38 Guest
2:39
Paige Kowalski: 
Common core assessments will provide us with comparable data so regardless of data sharing we'll be able to at least understand what is happening across states. We have a paper that gets to the challenges in breaking down these state silos. I don't have it handy but will dig it up! Privacy concerns will be paramount.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:39 Paige Kowalski
2:39
Laura Hansen: 
Ohhh... sharing of individual student data across lines... THAT would be great also! Having information available to immediately address student need upon their arrival would be incredible.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:39 Laura Hansen
2:40
Laura Hansen: 
Yes.. we have an in-house system. Report requirements are received from our stakeholders, and we have report writers that create them.... or we edit existing ones to better meet the needs. Improvement is ALWAYS happening.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:40 Laura Hansen
2:40
Paige Kowalski: 
here is our policy paper outlining the value proposition for sharing data across states http://dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/details/1646
Friday March 29, 2013 2:40 Paige Kowalski
2:41
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question about data protocols...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:41 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:41
[Comment From Dr SteveDr Steve: ] 
What type of data analysis protocols do your recommend? I favor Nancy Love's process as an effect way of looking at any form of data: http://www.nsrfharmony.org/protocol/doc/data_driven_dialogue.pdf
Friday March 29, 2013 2:41 Dr Steve
2:41
Paige Kowalski: 
Laura, yes! If data could follow a student when they move (mobility is high!) then services wouldn't be disrupted and we wouldn't lose so much learning time.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:41 Paige Kowalski
2:43
Paige Kowalski: 
Katie, data protocols are not my expertise and I can't address this one.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:43 Paige Kowalski
2:43
Laura Hansen: 
Dr. Steve, I'm actually not sure what "data analysis protocols" might mean, and I will certainly check out the paper! We used inquiry based methodology when coaching users on how to look at data for analysis and decision making.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:43 Laura Hansen
2:44
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question about data for students.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:44 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:44
[Comment From Patrick ByrnePatrick Byrne: ] 
What about data for student consumption...have you seen strategies which ensure students have a clear idea of where they are and where they are going rather than relying on rather ambiguous letter grades?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:44 Patrick Byrne
2:44
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are students getting access to data?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:44 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:45
Laura Hansen: 
We have been advocating for and our data coaches coach teachers on how to have "data conversations" with students. These have shown to be effecxtive and allow students to own their progress and their goals moving forward
Friday March 29, 2013 2:45 Laura Hansen
2:46
Paige Kowalski: 
Patrick, i can't speak to any specific examples yet BUT we envision a future (soon!) where students can not only access their data but understand it and have access to predictive analytics that help them understand if they're on track to meet their goals, alert them when they're off track, and lead them to strategies to get back on track.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:46 Paige Kowalski
2:46
Laura Hansen: 
Patrick, I would advocate for the delivery of the data to be done by teachers, or have students track their own progress ongoing so they know what the data mean.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:46 Laura Hansen
2:46
Paige Kowalski: 
As of 2012, 10 states report delivering data to students. States have prioritized teachers and are just now addressing parents and students.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:46 Paige Kowalski
2:46
Laura Hansen: 
Student tracking of data is a key aspect of personalized learning in my opinion...
Friday March 29, 2013 2:46 Laura Hansen
2:47
Paige Kowalski: 
We also believe that a key part of educator data literacy is the ability to help students understand their own data.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:47 Paige Kowalski
2:47
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a suggestion from Sonja.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:47 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:47
[Comment From Sonja TaylorSonja Taylor: ] 
Mandating the development and use of e-Portfolios could solve the problem of student relocation moves.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:47 Sonja Taylor
2:47
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Sounds like that Utah initiative you mentioned Paige might fit into this.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:47 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:48
Laura Hansen: 
Defintely Paige! These data conversations between teachers and students also set the environment of a learning partnership and improvement rather than just having the data be an accountability point.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:48 Laura Hansen
2:48
Paige Kowalski: 
Sonja, if that is similar to the student data backpack then yes! Although it still puts the impetus on the parent which we'd like to make sure there is back up for. Please see Digital Learning Now's paper on the backpack.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:48 Paige Kowalski
2:49
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question regarding student transience..
Friday March 29, 2013 2:49 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:49
[Comment From Doug AndersonDoug Anderson: ] 
With extreme student transience, especially in low income students, how can you develop data for your school's value-added to that particular student?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:49 Doug Anderson
2:49
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Is that something you've encountered in your district Laura?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:49 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:49
Laura Hansen: 
Sonja, the challenge even with e-portfolios will be the systems used to house them. If the district the student is going to doesn't use the same system, or it isn't made available, access will still be difficult. Kind of like some peopl eusing google docs and others using dropbox
Friday March 29, 2013 2:49 Laura Hansen
2:50
Paige Kowalski: 
Laura and Sonja, another perfect example of the need for system interoperability and common data standards.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:50 Paige Kowalski
2:50
Paige Kowalski: 
Doug, if you're referring to using value-added for teachers then it is incumbent upon the district or state to set certain business rules around student mobility to address this issue.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:50 Paige Kowalski
2:50
Laura Hansen: 
Doug, definitely a challenge. We use value add, and if the student is present for a certain amount of time at a school, their data will count for the school. THe real value with value added data is at the individual student level I think.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:50 Laura Hansen
2:52
Paige Kowalski: 
It is also critical to link teachers and students reliably. See best practices here http://dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/details/1633
Friday March 29, 2013 2:52 Paige Kowalski
2:53
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Another question from Michael,
Friday March 29, 2013 2:53 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:53
[Comment From Michael SchlesingerMichael Schlesinger: ] 
Laura: Given that data is now more easily accessible at all system levels, and many more people have access, what kind of procedures have you put in place to make sure student-level data is secure and not inappropriately shared?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:53 Michael Schlesinger
2:53
Laura Hansen: 
Paige, It would be great for there to be business rules around this set by the state (teacher linking to student value add), and then have it automatically do this. It is a manual process for TN so far... :(
Friday March 29, 2013 2:53 Laura Hansen
2:53
Paige Kowalski: 
Laura, agreed!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:53 Paige Kowalski
2:55
Laura Hansen: 
Michael, Our systems are role based, so internally only those with defined job roles see the students in their class, school, or at the district level. We also are developing an online FERPA training that will be rolled out next year to help people understand who they can share data with and can't. This training will also be made available to our community partners who we share data with
Friday March 29, 2013 2:55 Laura Hansen
2:55
Paige Kowalski: 
Michael, privacy, security and confidentiality are incredibly important. States, districts, and schools must establish and follow policies and procedures to protect student data. We must find a way to balance the demands for data with the need and desire for privacy. We have a primer that gets to the role of the state here http://dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/details/1290
Friday March 29, 2013 2:55 Paige Kowalski
2:56
Paige Kowalski: 
We have found that most states have stronger privacy laws than FERPA and that most agencies are often very reluctant to share data or provide access.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:56 Paige Kowalski
2:56
Laura Hansen: 
That is another key element of any data system. It needs to be role based! Individual student data as well as based on need to see just aggregate level.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:56 Laura Hansen
2:56
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great. Well we are just about out of time here. Paige and Laura, do you have some final thoughts to share with our audience?
Friday March 29, 2013 2:56 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:57
Paige Kowalski: 
Laura, agreed role based! This is in our STate Action 5
Friday March 29, 2013 2:57 Paige Kowalski
2:57
Laura Hansen: 
Thanks for the GREAT questions everyone! They have made me think, and I also appreciate the wonderful resources Paige offered.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:57 Laura Hansen
2:57
Paige Kowalski: 
Thanks Katie! Great opportunity to hear what is on everyone's minds. Again, I'm happy to have folks contact me with any questions or clarifications.
Friday March 29, 2013 2:57 Paige Kowalski
2:58
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great! Well, thanks very much to all of the audience members who submitted questions. And thanks very much to both Paige and Laura for spending time today sharing their expertise with us. Lots of great resources here - I think we all have a lot to think about!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:58 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:58
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Great resources, thanks
Friday March 29, 2013 2:58 Guest
2:59
[Comment From Phil SaurmanPhil Saurman: ] 
Great info!!
Friday March 29, 2013 2:59 Phil Saurman
2:59
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks, Katie! That's a great place to stop for the day. 
Friday March 29, 2013 2:59 Bryan Toporek
3:00
Bryan Toporek: 
Folks, thanks again for joining us for today's chat, Delivering Data to Improve Schools, sponsored by SAS. We hope you enjoyed the chat.

A transcript of today's chat will be available on this same page within about 30 minutes to an hour. 
Friday March 29, 2013 3:00 Bryan Toporek
3:01
Bryan Toporek: 
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Friday March 29, 2013 3:01 Bryan Toporek
3:01
 

 
 
 

Delivering Data to Improve Schools

Friday, March 29, 2013, 2 to 3 p.m. ET

While school districts and states are collecting more data than ever on student performance, many barriers stand in the way of allowing teachers to access and use that data in meaningful ways to improve instruction. The fragmented nature of data systems within districts as well as states, and the lack of adoption of data standards, make it challenging to share data from one district to another and across state lines, creating an incomplete picture of how students are performing and what measures might help them, data experts contend.

Our guests talked about efforts to bridge those gaps and provide teachers with the data they need to raise student achievement. Metropolitan Nashville school’s Laura Hansen shared what the district has done to improve the usage of data by her teachers, and Paige Kowalski, the director of state policy initiatives for the Data Quality Campaign, provided a national view of how states are working to improve data sharing between districts.

Guests:
Laura Hansen, director of information management and decision support, Metro Nashville school district
Paige Kowalski, director of state policy initiatives, Data Quality Campaign

Katie Ash, staff writer, Education Week and Education Week Digital Directions, moderated this chat.

Related Stories:

  • States' Inability to Share Data Seen as Creating Knowledge Gaps (November 28, 2012)
  • You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
    Ground Rules for Posting
    We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
    All comments are public.
    The Fine Print

    All questions are screened by an edweek.org editor prior to posting. A question is not displayed until the moderator poses it to the guest(s). Due to the volume of questions received, we cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered, or answered in the order of submission. Guests and hosts may decline to answer any questions. Concise questions are strongly encouraged.

    Please be sure to include your name when posting your question.

    Edweek.org's Live Chat is an open forum where readers can participate in a give- and-take discussion with a variety of guests. Edweek.org reserves the right to condense or edit questions for clarity, but editing is kept to a minimum. Transcripts may also be reproduced in some form in our print edition. We do not correct errors in spelling, punctuation, etc. In addition, we remove statements that have the potential to be libelous or to slander someone. Please read our privacy policy and user agreement if you have questions.

    —Chat Editors

    Most Popular Stories

    Viewed

    Emailed

    Recommended

    Commented