Double Dip: Easily Build District Scorecards with ESSA DataPosted on Apr 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM
There’s a growing trend in school districts to develop scorecards that track progress toward meeting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The progress reports can be used internally to help guide decision making or shared externally to communicate more effectively with stakeholders in the community about how the district is performing.
At the same time, as states roll out their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans, school districts need to figure out how to capture and analyze data about student performance to produce accurate accountability reports.
Fortunately, school districts can capitalize on the data collected to create ESSA compliance reports to generate district scorecards with minimal extra effort. They just need to decide what other metrics to track beyond what’s already required for ESSA.
The importance of district scorecards
I recently had an interesting conversation with a superintendent for a large district in northeastern Wisconsin. She reported one of the first tasks she spearheaded when joining the district was to implement both district and building scorecards. From experience, she knows school boards and administrators need benchmarks to make better decisions about actions intended to improve student performance. Without KPIs, it’s like flying blind because you don’t know what direction you’re headed.
The scorecard proved very popular both internally and externally because it gives everyone in the district visibility into how they are doing. Principals, teachers and guidance counselors can track student growth year over year and make adjustments as needed based on clear data. The community (school board, parents, taxpayers) appreciate being able to quickly see how the administrative team is doing to meet student performance goals and hold them accountable.
The district scorecard provides a quick snapshot of KPIs identified by the administration as good indicators of how students are performing. Categories include metrics such as grade point average above 2.8, participation in co-curricular activities, registration in dual credit college and advanced placement courses. Reviewers can see a comparison of data versus the previous year and projected numbers for the following year.
The individual school scorecards dig deeper in categories that impact student performance at specific grade levels. This level of detail provides principals visibility into results for their students by grade level, subgroup, subject areas or other metrics of importance.
Getting more out of ESSA reporting
Since school districts are already pulling data to meet ESSA reporting requirements, it’s a good time to re-evaluate or create district scorecards using the same data. Typical metrics included in most ESSA reports are standardized test scores, student and educator engagement, completion of advanced coursework as well as specific educational data sets separated by student subgroups and categories.
Supported by the right data analytics solution, school districts can easily collect, sort, review and produce graphics to create ESSA accountability reports.
At the same time, additional data can be quickly accessed to evaluate progress toward KPIs defined by the district tracked at whatever level of detail is needed. With just a few clicks, a flexible data analytics solution can transform the ESSA reports into customized district scorecards.
What gets measured gets done
School administrators spend a lot of time working on strategies to prepare students for what’s next. How do you measure progress if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve? By taking advantage of work already done for ESSA to create or update district scorecards, you get the information needed to evaluate the KPIs that are most important to your district.
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.