Driven by Data

DC Data Validation: Improving your process

Throughout the year OSSE and PCSB ask schools to “validate” a number of student data points – from re-enrollment rates to PARCC achievement subgroup scores. Schools are asked to review and certify certain groups of data in OSSE’s or PCSB’s databases and confirm their accuracy (versus the school’s internal records). While data validation can feel daunting, making a roadmap at the beginning of the school year allows you to streamline validation task management during the school-year when there are so many competing priorities. 

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Using Interim Assessments to Predict End of Year Results

Schools are taking more assessments than ever before. While the output and data from assessments vary – RIT scores and percentiles from NWEA MAP or a percent score from Achievement Network – common challenges exist for school leaders, regardless of the exam. School leaders are all aiming to create meaning from student scores and put interim scores in context with end-of-year outcomes. This post identifies one method (of many) that will help leaders make sense of current assessment results and what they imply about end-of-year outcomes.

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Funding for Facilities: What are Lenders Looking for?

Lenders want to know if you will pay them back. Whether you are considering traditional bank loans, taxable or tax-exempt bonds, or even special forms of financing created by state or federal government programs, the underlying question is the same. To find the answer, lenders look for assurances that your project and school will generate enough cash flow to service the debt (and that your school will stay open long enough to pay).
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Four Things to Consider Before Beginning the Budgeting Process

A well-conceived budget will serve as a “map” when making financial decisions throughout the year. It will reflect what you value as an organization, communicate your priorities to key stakeholders (board, staff, authorizer, families, funders), and highlight any new or changed priorities. Before the more technical work of the budgeting process begins, there are a number of broad concepts that we recommend every school focus on. READ MORE >>

Building Effective Internal Data Reporting Structures

Can you imagine a world where school districts are able to make data-driven decisions to allocate scarce resources to students who are in most need? Or skillfully aggregate and analyze data to improve metrics like attendance, graduation rates, and test results? With increasing access to data and advancements in analytics, this isn’t a pipe dream. In fact, schools and districts across the country are cultivating rich data and using it to advance academic achievement. READ MORE >>