Education Stats Made Visible: Helping School District Managers Write Better Three-Year Plans

Steve Rees, Mary Perry

Problem: School district leaders in California are awash in a sea of data, but are often unable to find it, query it, or relate it with other data. Districts are islands, leaving district managers able to see only their own data. A state education agency gathers and republishes districts' data, but doesn't clean it. New laws now require them to plan in public, set goals, assign resources, and project benefits for specific groups of kids. The evidence base they need remains out of reach. Solution: Our team was commissioned by two county offices of education to design a comparative methodology and data visualization environment to help district managers write these three-year plans. Ten year of data spanning finance, staffing, students, discipline, course offerings and assessments were acquired, QA'd and integrated. A Tableau development team built 50+ pages of leaderboards and scatterplots. A documentation team wrote training materials. Each district in this county received a custom workbook which framed its district's vital signs within a context of 15 districts whose students were most like their own. This presentation shares the work and our evaluation.

Knowledge Graph

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