Posts tagged "data-driven decisionmaking"
March 12, 2013
City eighth-graders who find out on Friday where they will attend high school had only the city’s data to consider when choosing where to apply. Next year’s applicants will have access to a different set of facts and figures — ones that focus as much on the student experience as on student performance.
They will be able to use Insidestats, a feature that the school information website Insideschools officially launched today. Insidestats is a consumer-oriented presentation of public data about high schools that is meant to complement, or perhaps even rival, the information the city distributes.
“We hope to offer a more nuanced picture, because different schools are good at different things,” Insideschools founder Clara Hemphill wrote today on the site. “Some schools take high-achieving kids and push them to ever greater heights. But others do a particularly good job with kids who need special education or English as a Second Language.” (more…)
February 23, 2012
Tomorrow’s planned release of 12,000 New York City teacher ratings raises questions for the courts, parents, principals, bureaucrats, teachers — and one other party: news organizations. The journalists who requested the release of the data in the first place now must decide what to do with it all.
At GothamSchools, we joined other reporters in requesting to see the Teacher Data Reports back in 2010. But you will not see the database here, tomorrow or ever, as long as it is attached to individual teachers’ names.
The fact is that we feel a strong responsibility to report on the quality of the work the 80,000 New York City public school teachers do every day. This is a core part of our job and our mission.
But before we publish any piece of information, we always have to ask a question. Does the information we have do a fair job of describing the subject we want to write about? If it doesn’t, is there any additional information — context, anecdotes, quantitative data — that we can provide to paint a fuller picture?
In the case of the Teacher Data Reports, “value-added” assessments of teachers’ effectiveness that were produced in 2009 and 2010 for reading and math teachers in grades 3 to 8, the answer to both those questions was no.
We determined that the data were flawed, that the public might easily be misled by the ratings, and that no amount of context could justify attaching teachers’ names to the statistics. When the city released the reports, we decided, we would write about them, and maybe even release Excel files with names wiped out. But we would not enable our readers to generate lists of the city’s “best” and “worst” teachers or to search for individual teachers at all.
It’s true that the ratings the city is releasing might turn out to be powerful measures of a teacher’s success at helping students learn. The problem lies in that word: might. (more…)