As I teach data management for school districts and consult on building data systems I focus on assisting school districts in the importance of integrating data into a coherent information source. As school districts administer North Carolina Check-In assessments, the reports are distributed to schools via paper reports or electronic .pdf documents. The districts also administer other assessments like the NWEA or I-Ready. Then for grades K-3, the district administers DIBELS. Each of these electronic assessments has a data portal and presents reports based on the single data source. This “siloed” data system, frequently managed by different administrators in the district, provides a myopic view of the student’s performance.
All of these data sources do not take into consideration a student’s prior performance on assessments like the End of Grade tests. My recommendation to school districts is to develop a singular portal for access all student performance in one data system so that various student scores during the year can be accessed and viewed alongside of each other. For example, it is important to know that a student on this year’s I-Ready test is testing at the 40th percentile rank during the BOY test and at the 20th percentile rank on the MOY testing, while last year the student achieved an achievement level of 4.
By integrating the student performance data in one data system, with tables of student test scores and demographic information including the student identification number, all data can be linked using the SID. This can be accomplished by creating a database and a reporting system using Oracle Application Express. For more information on how this can be accomplished visit Data Smart LLC in Greensboro, NC at www.Data-Smart.net.