Prism Decision Systems, LLC, led by Chief Technology Officer Andrew Tait Decision Mechanics Limited, has released a demonstration cohort tracker web application.
School districts all over the nation are under tremendous pressure to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates. In New York State, graduation rates hover around 70%. For many schools, graduation rates are significantly lower, especially for subgroups such as economically disadvantaged students or students with disabilities. For example, according to the state’s education department, just 56% of Black and 55% of Hispanic students who started 9th grade in 2005 had graduated after 4 years, by June 2009.
The educational issues facing districts are well known: retention and overagedness, poverty, home conditions, discipline, attendance, problems at work, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, among others. In addition, they also face a data issue: year-to-year, month-to-month and day-to-day, they do not know accurately who is in each “active” accountability cohort and what each member’s status is vis-a-vis graduation.
Cohort tracker: an early warning system
Cohort tracker addresses this critical information challenge. The app
- Gives superintendents, principals, guidance counselors and other staff the information they need when they need it in easy-to-use, predesigned reports: the real-time status of each accountability cohort, NCLB subgroup and individual student vis-a-vis New York State’s graduation requirements.
- Is lightweight, solves a single, urgent problem, and is not burdened by unnecessary features or complexity.
- Adheres to agile development principles: low-cost, rapid delivery of simple, useful, sustainable software that is frequently updated to incorporate user feedback.
- Will be the first of a series of apps that put critical information at the fingertips of district decision-makers.
- Is designed to be implemented in collaboration and partnership with New York’s Regional Information Centers.
See Andrew Tait’s discussion of how our agile development approach allows us to deliver focused, actionable, real-time information to educational decision-makers at all levels – and to do so in a in a matter of weeks, not months or years.
For more information, contact Sean Brady.