Increasing graduation rates and reducing dropout rates has proved an intractable challenge for many schools districts. Progress is generally slow or stagnant. But not for all districts. The Lockport City School District is a case study of how data-based decisions, focused strategy and a lot of really hard work by dedicated professionals can have a dramatic effect on graduation and dropout rates.
As a result of Race to the Top, most states will soon administer even more high-stakes tests. For example, in the 2014-15 school year, 25 states, including New York, will begin administering PARCC assessments in grades 3-12 four times per year. At the same time, there is an inexorable push to connect teacher and administrator performance reviews, tenure decisions and pay to student performance. This post discusses four specific traps that I believe implementers of RTTT and the PARCC assessments will have to avoid if their reforms are to bear fruit.
Bill Gates Ted Talks presentation describes the structural funding challenges facing our K-12 education system. The trade-offs are dire and civic conflict looms. Will we continue to fund growing health care costs at the expense of educating our children? Will we educate our children at the expense of teachers? pensions? Are we entering an era that pits the dreams of the young against the past promises to the old? If you are a student, parent, educator, taxpayer or politician, you should view Gates? short, provocative March 2 presentation at https://prismdecision.com/how-state-budgets-are-breaking-us-schools
The New York State Education Department released school report cards Thursday, February 17. A close look at the report cards reveals a very important, unreported story. We now have an absurd situation in New York State. For many schools districts to hit their accountability targets, they will have to improve at a rate that the NYSED does not consider credible. Read on at https://prismdecision.com/absurdity-of-new-york-school-accountability-system
Prism’s cohort tracker project demonstrates how an agile development approach can – in a matter of weeks, not years – deliver focused, actionable, real-time information to educational decision-makers at all levels. Read on at https://prismdecision.com/cohort-tracker-developed-using-agile-approach
Prism Decision Systems, LLC and its partner Decision Mechanics Limited have released a demonstration cohort tracker web application. The app solves a common school district 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. The app gives superintendents, principals, guidance counselors and other staff the information they need when they need it in easy-to-use, pre-designed reports: real-time lists of each accountability cohort by total cohort, NCLB subgroups and each cohort member. Read on at https://prismdecision.com/cohort-tracker-web-app-promotes-on-time-graduation
Sir Ken Robinson’s fascinating, thought-provoking and highly engaging animated narrative of the history of formal education, its current failures and a better path forward. The presentation was given upon the occasion of his receiving the Benjamin Franklin Medal by the Royal Society of Arts in London at https://prismdecision.com/ddy