Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Early Warning Indicator Index

DESE recently released Early Warning Indicator Index (EWII) data to all districts, as announced in the Nov. 10th Commissioner's Update. The EWII was developed to assist local staff in identifying and supporting 9th grade students who may be at risk of not graduating on time from high school. This project was piloted over the last few years with the Urban Superintendents Network. This is the first year data are being provided to all school districts statewide. Students who were in eighth grade at the end of last year (most of whom are likely to be current 9th graders) are assigned one of five risk levels (Very High Risk, High Risk, Borderline, At Risk, or Low Risk) based on their grade 8 MCAS results, grade 8 attendance rate, age as of September 1, 2010, and number of in- and out-of-school suspensions in the 2009-2010 school year.  

The student rosters and other resources are in the district Accountability 2010 Drop Box in the security portal , including:
  • A guidance/FAQ document with additional details about the EWII
  • Detailed student rosters in Microsoft Excel format
  • An additional Excel document containing both a calculator for determining risk levels for students who are not listed on the roster, as well as summary risk level data by district, region, and accountability and assistance level.
District personnel must have the "Accountability - District" security role to access these data.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finding the EDW Report you want

As the list of EDW reports grows, it can be a challenge to keep up with what's where. We have a few documents in a variety of formats to help you navigate:

  • For the visual learners out there, my colleague Lisa Hoang created EDW Report Thumbnails of all the predefined MCAS reports in the EDW.  All student names and SASIDs are fictional.
  • We updated the DESE EDW MCAS Report Grid to include the growth reports. We provided this to participants at trainings through Shore Collaborative. 
  • For just a straightforward list, including the enrollment reports, we have the EDW Report List. 
  • Finally, my colleague in the Southeastern DSAC created the EDW Report Summary which provides suggestions on how each MCAS report could be used and whether similar information exists in the DESE School and District Profiles.
We hope you find these helpful!

Monday, November 15, 2010

DART Updated

Earlier this month DESE released updated versions of DART. If you haven't seen this tool, it offers a "snapshot of district and school performance" in an Excel workbook, one for district-level analysis, one for school-level analysis. You can use the tool to explore how your school or district is doing on a variety of indicators compared to the state and to one other school or district of your choosing. The tool helpfully identifies demographically "similar" districts/schools to aid your selection. In my work with districts, this feature has generated the most interest and discussion! You should remember that you can also review data from other schools and districts via the EDW (aggregate data only) and in the DESE school and district profiles. Using these three tools in conjunction with one another can lead to some powerful data-driven conversations!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

EDW Returns!

The EDW was down for a few days this week, but is now back up. You may get the "IBM Cognos" home page when you log in. Remember, if you un-check the box at the bottom, you won't see it the next time you log in. Also, this message is on the Welcome Tab:

"The EDW is back online and all content has been restored. Thank you for your patience during this unscheduled outage. A small percentage of users may be missing content in their My Folders. However, be assured that we have all content in a backup folder and it will be restored to your My Folders upon request. Please contact us at if your content is missing from My Folders."

Having just checked my own account, I will now be sending an email to the above address....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Security Portal Unavailable

In case you haven't noticed yet, the DESE Security Portal is down and has been all day today. At this point it appears to be a hardware issue. DESE has not yet estimated when it will be back up. You won't see any notification if you try to go directly to the portal, but there is a notice posted on the DESE website.