data points

New York

Report: New York collects the data it needs but isn't using it yet

New York State collects all of the student data it needs to meet federal guidelines, but the state has a ways to go before it starts using the data in ways that will boost student achievement. That's the conclusion of a report released last week by the Data Quality Campaign, an initiative of a group of education and legislative organizations meant to help states build their data tracking systems. Since 2005, the group has surveyed each state's education department to draw a picture of what kinds of student information school systems gather and how they use it to boost student achievement. The campaign compares each state’s system against a list of ten elements it calls “essential” for robust data tracking and another ten "actions" it says states should take to best use the data they collect. The initiative's list matches the federal government's criteria for student data tracking systems, which all 50 states committed to building as a condition of receiving stimulus dollars. New York's data tracking methods now include all 10 of the elements the campaign says comprise a good system. (Four of those elements — including the capacity to follow K-12 students into college and track their progress and a way to link teachers to their students' information — have been added in the past year.) But the state has so far taken only four of the ten steps the campaign says are needed to put that system to good use.  Among the actions New York has yet to implement: The state has not yet made data for all individual students who are being tracked available to their teachers and parents through online portals. Nor has the state developed "progress reports" for individual students and their parents and teachers that track performance over time.
New York

Union requests formal investigation of data reports' accuracy

New York

UFT: Value-added ratings don't accurately measure quality

New York

Union mobilizes teachers to find and report errors in ratings

In the next stage of its effort to block the release of thousands of teacher data reports, the city teachers union is mobilizing educators to scrutinize their reports for errors — even setting up a dedicated phone line to monitor concerns. Last week, the city announced that it would release a list of teachers' names and their effectiveness ratings to reporters who had submitted freedom of information requests. The union has sued to stop the release, and the city agreed to postpone publicizing teachers' names until a hearing is held in court next month. The union asserts that the ratings should not be made public in part because they are non-finalized and often error-prone internal documents. To make that case, the union is asking teachers to comb their reports for mistakes and tell the union when they find them. The union sent teachers a sample report showing teachers how to look for mistakes, and has set up a dedicated phone line and e-mail address for concerns about the accuracy of their ratings, according to a memo union President Michael Mulgrew sent teachers last week. A union spokesman said that, as of Friday, at least 200 teachers had called the union to report errors. Department of Education spokesman Matthew Mittenthal said that the city had seen an increase in the number of calls since the union sent out its memo. But he said that the majority of calls were prompted by misunderstandings of the reports rather than inaccuracies. Still, Mittenthal said, the city plans to check teachers' complaints and fix problems it finds before releasing the reports publicly.
New York

King outlines plans for $48M expansion of troubled data system