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The Official Blog of Forecast5 Analytics

Jason Schoenleber
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Jason Schoenleber

Data Visualization, Student Performance, Student Achievement, ESSA, District Scorecard

A Closer Look: Dig Into District Scorecards for Fresh Perspectives

Posted on Mar 22, 2018 8:01:00 AM

One of the must-see paintings when you visit the Art Institute of Chicago is A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by George Seurat.  This masterpiece from 1884 depicts people relaxing, strolling, fishing and sailing in a park on the picture's namesake island in the River Seine.  At least that's what you see when you stand back and look at the big picture.
Step up close to the painting and suddenly the people, trees and dogs are replaced by multicolored dots.  Seurat pioneered a technique called Pointillism that involves applying small strokes of color to a canvas that from a distance appear to blend to form images.  A Sunday on La Grande Jatte contains millions of dots.

Both views are incredible.  It's exciting to look at one painting from multiple perspectives and walk away with different impressions.

Creating masterpieces from student data

For school districts, the same effect is true for a different kind of masterpiece:  the district scorecard.  While it's unlikely the general public will ever stand in awe in front of a well-designed scorecard, for administrators it's a thing of beauty.  Prepared properly, the scorecard assembles and interprets large amounts of data to create a big picture of what's happening in a district's efforts to meet objectives for student growth.  But that's just the beginning.

With the right data analytics solution, school districts can quickly produce scorecards that meet reporting requirements for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as well as district-specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  Then, it's time to take a closer look at the data behind the scorecard to find new insights for administrators at the building level.

Student data dashboards deliver results

To improve KPIs at the district level, principals, guidance counselors and department heads need accurate information to guide their roles.  Dashboards that breakout student data by building, grade level or even specific students enable educators to better evaluate what programs are working, or not, and make informed decisions about how to move forward.

The Principal's View

Principal Dashboard

A principal can benefit from dashboards that provide a snapshot of all the KPIs that are relevant to their school.  In one simple screen, it's easy to see what's on track and areas that need additional focus.

The Guidance Counselor's View

Guidance Counselor Dashboard

A guidance counselor can access a dashboard to see how students are performing against college readiness KPIs.  Simple graphs reveal areas that need attention.  Perhaps there's an opportunity to push students to take more ACT practice tests to bump up scores or enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) courses the following year.

The Department Head View

Department heads-1.png

A department head can dive into data specific to his or her subject area to understand where students are excelling or struggling.  Then, more informed decisions can be made about how to improve performance such as recruiting additional tutors or reassigning teachers.

Up close and personal

It's important for administrators to understand the big picture of what's happening in the district.  District scorecards simplify the process.  To effect real change, it's equally important for staff who work in the schools to get dashboard views that dig deeper into the specific student data that impacts their functions.  Used in combination, scorecards and dashboards are a real work of art. 

 

 Improve student performance with 5Lab


Jason Schoenleber is a Product Manager with Forecast5 Analytics in Naperville.  Prior to working at Forecast5, Jason worked for 3 years as a Solutions Consultant for Enfos Inc., advising corporate remediation directors on managing their financial debt obligation data through a SaaS platform and template modeling.  He received his Bachelors in Marketing from the University of South Dakota, and is currently pursuing his Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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