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August 14, 2018
How one Chicago principal is leaning on data to help black boys
Test scores were rising at Fuller Elementary School when Marilyn McCottrell took over in 2016. Yet troubling trends loomed behind the numbers.
August 13, 2018
Three out of four Illinois kids aren’t ready for kindergarten. Why that’s a problem.
Only 16 percent of low-income students demonstrated kindergarten readiness in Illinois. The three core benchmarks are social emotional learning, literacy, and math.
you got data
December 11, 2017
Can Colorado do a better job of sharing school report cards with parents? Data advocates say yes.
The Colorado education department posts the school quality ratings online, as do schools. But the reports are not sent directly to parents.
making it clear
June 22, 2016
Striking new graphics show which kids go to specialized high schools — and which don’t
Only two-tenths of a percent of seventh-graders, or nine students, who went on to specialized schools came from the city’s lowest-performing 124 schools.
June 21, 2016
New ‘dashboard’ promises easier access to school data
But schools serving some of the city's highest-needs populations will be left out for now.
November 11, 2015
How New York City is using Google Drive to revamp its struggling schools
The city is hoping that an easy-to-use tool built with Google Drive will enable struggling schools to make new use of student data.
April 20, 2015
Ranks of testing bills culled as session’s days dwindle
Four testing bills were killed by the House Education Committee Monday, including measures that would have repealed the Common Core Standards and PARCC tests.
February 23, 2015
How Chalkbeat analyzed district and charter-school suspensions
Here’s what we considered in our analysis of charter school suspension data.
December 17, 2014
Success Academy seeks in-house ethnographer to study its schools
The Success Academy charter school network is looking to hire an in-house researcher to conduct “ethnographic fieldwork” across its 32 schools and its network offices.
December 8, 2014
Data disagreements muddy takeover debate
In the wake of the ASD's announcement that it will take over one of two middle schools in a Nashville community, district officials and their opponents have continually cited data points that seem contradictory. In fact, representatives from both sides of the school takeover debate were using different yardsticks to measure the same things:
October 15, 2014
Special-ed students in some neighborhoods face longer odds when looking for help
Ten percent of services are going unprovided for students who live in four Bronx ZIP codes with an average median household income of $22,000. That figure drops to 1.5 percent in the city’s five wealthiest enclaves, which have an average median income of $162,000.
July 1, 2014
Haslam and Huffman: TCAP gains show Tennessee is on the right track
After a year in which lawmakers and educators heatedly debated which standardized tests should be given in Tennessee schools and how their results should be used, Gov. Bill Haslam and…
March 14, 2013
City releases limited data about impact of special ed changes
Three years after launching an effort to integrate more students with special needs in mainstream classrooms, the Department of Education has some news about the initiative's effects. The department today released data showing that students with special needs in schools that participated in the first phase of the initiative saw their test scores improve more than students with disabilities at similar schools that were not in the program. Their attendance rates rose and suspension rates fell more than the students with disabilities at similar schools, too. And as the initiative expanded citywide this year, students frequently moved to less restrictive classroom settings in sixth and ninth grade, the years where the department required schools to serve all eligible students, regardless of their disability. The information partially satisfied special education advocates, who are on board with the goals of the city's reforms but have been clamoring for more data about the reforms' impact for more than a year. "From what I am seeing here it looks like there are positive trends — but I'm not seeing everything here that I want to," said Maggie Moroff, who heads the ARISE Coalition of advocates.
October 24, 2012
Even with no model middle school, city expands literacy push
Greg Linton, an 8th grade humanities teacher at M.S. 266, takes notes on his school's literacy data. Nearly a year after beginning their search for an exceptional middle school to lead a push to boost literacy in struggling schools, city officials have concluded that no school is good enough. After the city launched its Middle School Quality Initiative last year, it selected two dozen underperforming schools to receive special training and thousands of dollars in program funding. Then it picked more successful schools to be "anchors" that would teach them. Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School became a model for teacher collaboration, and schools were sent to M.S. 244 to learn about using data to detect signs that students are at-risk. The city also wanted to push the 23 schools on literacy, where their students especially lagged. But officials said they could find no middle school strong enough to use as the emblem of the literacy initiative. "There isn't an anchor we could turn to to say, 'Show us the magic of how it's all done together,'" said Nancy Gannon, the department official overseeing MSQI. Nonetheless, as MSQI expanded from 24 schools at first (six with only partial funding) to 49 this year, the department also expanded the initiative’s literacy program. The schools are getting extra funds and monthly trainings focused exclusively on literacy, in a program that officials consider it the most significant part of the citywide initiative.
July 23, 2012
Annual survey reflects sanguine views of school performance
A slide from the Department of Education's presentation of this year's Learning Environment Survey results shows teachers' responses to questions about their evaluations. Results of the city's annual survey of what parents, students and teachers think about their schools paints a much rosier picture than data on school performance indicate. It also offers a rosier picture of teachers' views of their evaluation system than both city and union officials have painted in the past. This year, 94 percent of parents said they were "satisfied" with their children's education, and 95 percent of students said they have to "work hard to get good grades" — figures city officials touted as a sign that the schools are becoming more rigorous. Answering a new question, 94 percent of teachers said their school "does a good job supporting students who aspire to go to 2- or 4-year colleges." Those responses suggest that city parents, students, and teachers remain sanguine about their schools even as the city and state have mounted a concerted effort to raise expectations. The Learning Environment Survey results, which the city published today, come on the heels of annual state test scores that showed for the second straight year that fewer than half of the city's third through eighth graders are reading at grade level. And while the city's "college-readiness" rate inched up since it was first announced last year, only about a quarter of students meet the city's and state's standards. The survey results do signal that some schools are beginning to ask more of their students. Since 2009, the proportion of high school students who say they are receiving "helpful" college and career counseling has risen from 74 to 82 percent. And while the number of students reporting sophisticated research or essay assignments barely budged, the number who said they had been asked to "complete an essay or project where [they] had to use evidence to defend [their] own opinion or ideas" three or more times increased sharply, from 62 percent in 2011 to 67 percent this year.
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