Friday, December 6, 2013

"Edwin is the man."

When it rains, it pours…at least with the GBDSAC Data blog this week. But when I hear that “Edwin is the man” I can’t resist. This quote comes from a blog post from The Data Quality Campaign (DQC). DQC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, and they sing the praises of Edwin.  In the post, there is also a reference to a video piece about EWIS, featuring several MA district and school staff. Time is a precious commodity but if you have a few minutes as the week winds down, check it out!

Coincidentally, I also learned this week about this jam-packed graphic from the DQC folks about data use, inviting you to “Follow one teacher, Ms. Bullen, and one of her students, Joey, through the school year to see how data help teachers, parents, and others make sure students are meeting education goals.”

Thanks DQC!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Edwin Analytics Update

Here is a summary of yesterday's ESE Edwin Analytics User Group WebEx*:        

Teacher Access - As presented at the Edwin Workshops in November, ESE is doing a "soft" rollout of teacher access to Edwin Analytics. 
  • At this point, access is available only to those participants of the workshops, but districts can email the Edwin Analytics team to request access if they did not go to a workshop. The security role is "Global Access Teacher" and should NOT be assigned in combination with any other Edwin Analytics role. 
  • There are three reports available to teachers. They are also available to administrators with the "Evaluator" role. They can be found on the Students, Staff & Classroom tab, then click on "Classroom" in the blue/gray horizontal bar.
  • Teachers can view the data for last year's students, and for two years prior. At this point, teachers can not run the reports for their current students, but eventually that will be available for districts that have implemented SIF. Manual student claiming does not include updates to teacher reports for current students.

Wida/ACCESS reports - You can now run these reports for your "claimed" students, i.e. those currently enrolled, IF your district submits claim files. 

Local assessments data uploads - ESE is revisiting the idea of allowing districts to upload local assessment data, particularly data from "off-the-shelf" assessments. 

New User Guide - This will be posted any day now, along with a new Security & Access Guide. 

Housekeeping - ESE is retiring the remaining references to Education Data Warehouse, EDW and DW. The new email address is (the old one still works). Security role names have changed (e.g., DW 211 School User is now Edwin Analytics School Administrator). 

Cubes - A basic demonstration of the cube functionality was provided. 

The Edwin Analytics User Group WebEx is held the first Wednesday of the month at 11a.m. and the third Wednesday of the month at 2p.m. ESE sends email reminders to several lists including the Edwin Analytics Contacts as identified in Directory Administration and to subscribers of the EDWusers email list.

To subscribe to the EDWusers list:
Please send an email to
with the following text—and only this text—in the body of the message:
(**The subject line is ignored!**)
subscribe listname your_full_name(e.g., subscribe edwusers john smith).

Monday, December 2, 2013

District and School Report Cards with New Overview Page

In case you have not yet noticed, ESE released last month, as part of the District and School Report cards, a new two-page overview to convey useful information about a school's students and staff in an efficient, user-friendly format. The "Overview" page connects a variety of questions to the data, including:
  • How is our school doing overall?
  • How does our school's achievement over time compare to the district and the state?
  • How does our school's growth compare to the district and the state?
  • How does our school's enrollment compare to the district and the state?
  • How do our school's teachers and classrooms compare to the district and the state?
  • How is our school doing on other important measures?
The new overview was part of a redesign based on feedback from a number of stakeholders, including district staff and parents. The annual report cards are available in the Profiles section of the ESE web site, on the Accountability tab (see the link in the left-side column) for any given school or district. A Report Card search box has been added to the main Profiles page as well. For additional information and guidance around the report cards (distribution requirements, etc), please visit

Monday, October 7, 2013

2012-13 Dropout Data Available for Review

ESE announced last week that the 2012-13 dropout data is available for districts to review. Dropout rates are factored into ESE's accountability determinations for high schools and districts, so now is your chance to ensure the data are accurate! The announcement from ESE is as follows:

"ESE has posted 2012-13 Annual Dropout data to the Security Portal for districts to review and make corrections to individual student data. Aggregate rates have not yet been provided. ESE will not accept corrections through email or over the phone.  The only mechanism to make corrections to these data is through the October SIMS submission. ESE will make the final rates publicly available in January 2014 once the October 2013 SIMS data have been certified and the calculations have been completed.

Data are located under "Dropout Data Summary Report" on the Security Portal at The application can be accessed with a username, password, and the SIMS Data User role. Should you or your staff have any questions on the correction process, please contact your District Support Specialist. A list of those individuals is located at The deadline to correct these dropout data coincides with the October SIMS submission deadline, which is November 7."

Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 MCAS/Accountability Data Released

As you probably know by now, ESE publicly released (see the press release) the official 2013 school and district MCAS and accountability results. The data are available in a several places:
  • The ESE accountability site now includes an Excel file with level/PPI information for all districts and schools by region, as well as commendation school information   This page also contains a variety of support documents around school and district accountability, including some short informative videos about the accountability system, PPI, and percentiles.
  • Edwin Analytics reports in the Security Portal have been updated with the 2013 official data.  CD status reports have been updated as well. There is also a NEW report, MCAS Achievement and Growth by Classroom (GR501) that provides a scatter plot of achievement (%Proficient or Higher) and growth (Median SGP) for course sections. This report, like other classroom reports, is available only to those users with the Educator Evaluator role. The MCAS cube will be available in about a week.
  • The files in the Dropbox within the security portal have been updated, although the large file with the detailed accountability data is not yet available (with the results, target, PPI points, etc for each indicator, for each of the 4 years). 

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, August 30, 2013

EWIS Updated Data Now Available

ESE just announced that Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) data for the 2013-14 school year are available through Edwin Analytics. Data are available for students in grades 1-12. There are three EWIS reports available: 1) Student List (EW601), 2) District View (EW301), and 3) Graphical View (EW302) that includes longitudinal trends. All reports may be filtered to look at a particular school, grade level, and/or student population type.

See the EWIS site for more information about the data. The second page of the Edwin Analytics Reports Overview document provides specific information about the reports. 

In addition, ESE offers the following guidance: 

Seeing grades/students listed in the incorrect school?
Students are listed in the school where they were most recently claimed, so for most students this will be the school they attended at the end of the 12-13 school year. To update the school where a student currently attends (e.g., for students that went from a middle school last year to a high school this year), complete the student claiming process outlined here This will ensure that all students are listed in their current 2013-14 school. 

Seeing a retained student listed in the incorrect grade?
Students are listed in their anticipated grade level for this school year. For example, if the student was reported as enrolled in 7th grade last year, they are listed as a grade 8 student in the EWIS reports. If the student was retained in grade then they are likely currently listed in the incorrect grade level. However, the grade levels will be updated later this fall to reflect any retained students after the October SIMS is finalized.

Want more information about the EWIS?
Check out the 5-minute presentation overview of the EWIS here:

Email the Edwin team at or connect with us on Twitter @ Edwin_DESE.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Upcoming Accountability Webinars

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) will be holding three webinars to assist district and school leaders in interpreting the preliminary 2013 district and school accountability data that is  available for preview in the Security Portal.

Webinars will be held on the following dates and times: 

Wed., 8/28 11 at 3:00 p.m.
Wed., 9/4 at 12:00 p.m.
Wed., 9/11 at 11:00 a.m.

Topics will include the Progress and Performance Index (PPI); school percentiles and their relationship to district and school level classifications; and how district and school accountability results will be reported.

All webinars will cover the same information and will be one hour in length. Register online. General explanatory information of the accountability determinations is also available on ESE's site

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Edwin Analytics (formerly EDW) FAQ Part 1

Where is the data warehouse?
The data warehouse was subsumed by Edwin Analytics, which is one part of Edwin. It includes all the reports from the Data Warehouse, plus additional reports, including Early Warning Indicator System data and Postreadiness and Success data. See my earlier post for more details.

Why do I need to log in twice to the security portal?
If this is happening to you, chances are you are using an old bookmark for the security portal. Update your bookmark to See my earlier post for more details.

How do I log in or run/print a report?
DESE's Getting Started Guide can help you with basic functionality in Edwin Analytics and also provides information on supported browsers and other technical questions you may have.

Where can I find more information about the Early Warning Indicator System and Postsecondary Readiness and Success reports?
DESE has provided an overview of these reports on their public site. In addition, DESE has several resources on the EWIS site, including video tutorials, offering further explanation of the EWIS data.

Where are My Folders?
If you do not see a "My Folders" tab at the very top level of tabs (to the right of "Public Folders"), you need to set the My Folders tab to appear. To do this, click on the "Tab Menu" button to the left of the EOE tab at the very top of the page and select "Add Tabs". Check the box next to "My Folders", then the green arrow in the middle to move the selection over to the right.  Click Ok. You should now see the My Folders tab at the top, next to Public Folders.

Where are my school/district folders?
DESE is working on reinstating these folders, where you can share report views with all Edwin Analytics users in your school/district. They anticipate that they will be available some time in September.  

I will be posting more FAQs in the next day or two, too many for one post!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Where is my preliminary data??

There seems to be a little confusion about where to go to get preliminary MCAS data and other related accountability information. There are 3 different applications in the Security Portal where preliminary MCAS-related information is posted. Not everyone will have access to all 3 depends on what security roles you have been assigned access by your Directory Administrator. If you have access, you'll see links to each of these applications when you log into the Security Portal (now found at If you use the old link from a bookmark, you will need to log in twice. This will keep happening until you update the bookmark.)

2013 Accountability Data 
This application within the portal connects to 3 layers of reports for your school/district, similar to the Accountability tab in Profiles. Preliminary information about accountability level, PPI indicator values, points, and targets can be found here.

DropBox Central
- Accountability 2013 Data - does not contain 2013 accountability data at this time. At some point it will have a detailed data file.
- MCAS 2013 Data - contains the August 2013 preliminary data files in .CSV and .XLS format for all tested students for whom your organization is accountable (one line per student - these are large and somewhat unwieldy files!)

Edwin Analytics  
Formerly the data warehouse, this has a variety of preliminary MCAS reports (item, strand, performance/achievement, and growth) that can be run for various grades, subjects, and/or subgroups within a school or district. At this point, there is no state comparison data for 2013. 

At this point, all 2013 MCAS data is considered preliminary and as such, is embargoed. When the data are publicly released in mid-September, data reports will also be available on the DESE Profiles

*Thanks to my colleague Laura Tilton, SE DSAC Data Specialist, for the general content of this blog post!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Full Preliminary MCAS and Accountability Results

By now you probably have taken a look at the full preliminary MCAS results and preliminary accountability data that DESE released the other day (see the SAS update for more info). DESE held two webinars to provide more explanation and guidance. Some of the key points from the webinar include: 

  • All data is embargoed until the public release in September! DESE states that you can use it for planning and research with appropriate staff and to let students know they earned a diploma. You should not discuss aggregate results in public or show preliminary aggregate reports at school committee meetings. 
  • The MCAS discrepancy window closes on Tues August 13th at 5 p.m.
  • The state has changed slightly how they calculate the growth data, in that they now compare each student to a historical academic peer group. This means that the state SGP for each grade level will no longer necessarily be 50, it may be a bit higher or lower. The state results will be released in September. 
  • The student file now includes, for each student, how long that student has been enrolled in your district, and in your school. In the future, Edwin Analytics will provide reports with MCAS results disaggregated by these variables. 
  • Classroom reports with EOY SIMS data may be available in early September. 
  • Preliminary accountability reports are available in a separate application within the security portal. More detailed webinars will be held in a few weeks. You can register on DESE's site. Updated guidance is also available. 
  • Later this calendar year, DESE anticipates rolling out Edwin Analytics to teachers.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Preliminary 2013 MCAS in Edwin

As you probably know by now, the following Edwin reports are available today with preliminary 2013 MCAS data:

  • District/School Test Item Analysis Summary (IT301/IT401)
  • District/School Test Item Analysis Graph (IT302/IT402)
  • District/School Results by Strand and Topic (CU306/CU406)
  • Student Assessment Detail (PE606)
  • Student Assessment History Summary (PE613)
  • Student Item Analysis Roster (IT616)
  • Student Roster (All Subjects)(PE617)
  • Student Growth Scatter Plot (GR601)
  • Student Growth Roster (GR602)
NOTE: The default setting for the reports displaying the standards are the NEW 2011 standards, no longer the old standards. HOWEVER the Science tests don't have new standards, so if you run them with the default setting they will come up BLANK. Therefore, you have to change the standards option before running any reports for Science!

Monday, June 17, 2013

New ESE Security Portal URL

With the preliminary MCAS results being released tomorrow (see earlier post for more details), there’s a good chance you’ll want to log into the ESE Security Portal in the very near future. If you haven’t logged into the Security Portal in a while, you will notice some changes. Earlier in June, ESE installed a new “Identity Management System (IMS)” in order to align the Security Portal with the Commonwealth’s new secure access standards. Existing username and passwords will continue to work with the new Identity Management System and there is no need to change either credential, BUT the URL has changed.

New Security Portal URL:

You should change any bookmarks you may have to the new URL. If you go to the old URL and log in, you will be redirected to the new URL and will need to log in again. If you have any questions regarding your access, please contact your district’s Directory Administrator.