Author: Doug LaFleur, President @ Eidex
Data is Extremely Powerful
A side benefit of staying home during the pandemic is that my wife and I, being empty nesters, seem to be eating at a more regular time each evening. Our daily routine has evolved into this: Sitting down around our kitchen island at 6:00 or so, one of us grabs the remote, the other serves the food, and we fire up a quick episode of Cheers on Netflix. Then, when finishing up our meal, we either flip to the evening news and discuss the latest that happened that day, or share what we had heard throughout the day regarding the strange times we live in. This ultimately leads to our sharing what we heard about “the latest data” that tells the story of our times. Is the infection rate and death rate accelerating at a dangerous level, or has it started to flatten? What do the medical data experts say will happen if we open up our communities to fast? What do the economists say will happen to our GDP if we open up the economy too slow? The various experts and pundits all have their own thoughts and strategies on how to fight this invisible enemy, and sometimes even fighting about the accuracy of the data. However, one area where there does seem to be the most agreement is that the use of data is extremely powerful – and will continue to be - to thwart the virus. In fact, besides finding a vaccine, many physicians and scientists proclaim that effectively responding to data may be our best weapon to beating COVID-19. Yes, good, accurate data is necessary to tell the story and to evaluate our progress.
Student learning objectives might seem intimidating, but with the right approach and support from peers, any district can implement SLOs that will help students (and teachers) grow. This is why Eidex hosted a series of workshops dedicated to sharing tips and tricks that we’ve picked up from years of experience in education and knowledge-sharing with peers. Keep reading to review some of the guidelines we covered for starting and keeping up with student learning objectives.
When multiple data sets are brought together into one space, multiple perspectives can be brought to life. Now, administrators can triangulate data to easily identify areas of focus. PRISM does just that and even provides multiple granularity levels to aggregate or disaggregate the data to create solutions for specific problem areas such as strategic planning, building goals, interventions, attendance trends, and behavior data.
Take a look at the infographic below which provides just one example of how PRISM might be used. Each granularity level represents a piece of the puzzle which makes up a school district. This puzzle, however, creates whatever picture a district is looking for, thus providing context to different student stories!
In this series, we sit down with educators across the nation and ask them about their journeys in public education, their passion for helping students, their everyday struggles, and how they have used data to overcome those struggles. Our first guest to be featured is Michelle Blaszczynski from Greenville Public Schools. Read more to learn about her genuine story and experience as both a teacher and an administrator, and her unique insights on the use of data analytics in public education.
Budget planning is an important activity that almost all types of organizations go through each year. For school districts, budgeting allows leaders to drive growth and address areas of improvements by allocating resources to prioritize certain school needs. The nature of an effective budget is driven and informed by data. As long-time data enthusiasts, we put our heads together here at Eidex to outline in 3 steps how your district can seamlessly integrate data into budget planning, preparation, and evaluation.
1. Planning involves setting goals and objectives, and developing programs needed to achieve those goals and objectives. During this phase of the budgeting process, data about where the district is currently and where it wants to be in the next year can be extremely beneficial in providing guidance for setting SMART goals. Here are a couple of examples:
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires schools and districts identified for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI) to complete a needs assessment. Aside from this requirement, however, any school or district can hugely benefit from the implementation of a strong needs assessment.
First, a quick recap...
Author: Phil Saurman
Phil Saurman is an experienced K-12 financial advisor. He now works at Eidex as a Financial Data Analyst. You can reach Phil at email@example.com
As the old saying goes there are two things we all have to look forward to….death and taxes. As a K-12 school administrator we can add one more thing…..negotiations. As negotiations are unavoidable, it is important for a district to utilize “best practices” on a consistent basis to achieve the best and most transparent result for all parties in the process. Presented below are a series of best practices that a district may utilize to maintain efficiency and transparency throughout the negotiations process. These are not meant to be a complete list, as each district will have unique issues to deal with and include in their negotiations process.
Overall Best Practices for A Successful Negotiations
2018-19 brings the final opportunity for districts to comply with the Michigan educator evaluation legislation. With the school year upon us and to-do lists growing by the minute, ensuring adherence to policies for calculating student growth ratings may feel like a daunting task.
The solution: Eidex® School Evaluation Module
Recognizing the time constraint that school leaders face, we have worked in partnership with Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to develop a School Evaluation Module. Also known as the Student Growth Percentile (SGP) calculator, this module uses state assessment data to calculate student growth ratings consistent with recommendations from the MDE.
If your district is looking for an efficient way to evaluate educators, this intuitive, low-maintenance tool can calculate an SGP rating for individual teachers, building and district administrators in minutes. We also deliver complimentary custom SGP reports to our district partners. To learn more about the new educator evaluation requirements and how our School Evaluation Module works, check out this article in the most recent MASA Leader Magazine, Summer 2018.
Recently, I had the privilege of presenting a session on how achievement influences budgeting.
Schools often say that achievement is our number one goal, but how often are budget decisions made on other factors? Since 85% of school budgets are staff expenses, there is no way to get into budget conversations without concern for someone’s job. This ends up leading the budget conversations way too many times, especially at the Board table. Without good data, it is very hard for budget conversations to not get into personnel.
Eidex is a wonderful resource for building principals!
School Leaders have access to both formative and summative assessments using the Eidex website. NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) and M-Step (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress) are two examples of assessments that can be analyzed. Principals can use this data analytics resource to support Professional Learning Teams in effectively analyzing student achievement data for the purpose of guiding instruction and designing meaningful student interventions.