“This is an awesome tool - thank you! We are looking to move in the next year, and I’ve been wondering how different schools in neighborhoods we are look at it really are - what great timing!”
—Trissie Kiefer, CA public school mother
In October, the State of California released its Academic Performance Index (API) scores for all public schools in the state. With the hopes of making this data easy to access and interpret, Schoolzilla developed interactive API reports that allow anyone to look up results for a particular school and also map the results of other schools in the neighborhood to understand how their results compare! We got an amazing response from parents, district administrators, and teachers on our reports, so check them out if you haven’t already!
Some additional information about API is below:
What is API?The Academic Performance Index (API) is a measure of academic performance and progress of individual schools in California. API scores are calculated by the California Department of Education based on statewide testing. API scores range from 200-1000. California’s statewide target is 800.
Why does API matter?API is an important measure of academic performance and growth for all schools throughout the state of California. Though it is not the only measure of school success, it is frequently used a way to compare schools and school performance.
Schools are back in session and teachers, principals, students, and Data Heroes are hard at work. With state test results released and internal assessments underway, we at Schoolzilla have also been hard at work supporting Data Heroes here at Aspire as well as the many awesome Data Heroes using Schoolzilla to analyze their tests this year. (100+ in just one month!)
We are currently working on expanding our tool to allow Data Heroes to upload any type of student assessment (from SATs to internal assessments - not just California State Tests). While we’ve had a few years to work closely with teachers to develop student assessment reports here at Aspire, we know we’re not perfect and want to hear from you (Data Heroes across the nation…maybe the world?)! (Shout out to our users in the UK and India!) We’d love to hear how you use data today and how you dream of using data.
Are you a Data Hero willing to share your story with Schoolzilla and Data Heroes across the nation? Know someone at your school who’s a Data Hero? Please reach out to me! As a token of our appreciation for giving us a moment of your time we’ll send you a small Schoolzilla swag gift :)
Not too long ago I watched a little movie you may have heard of- Money Ball! A baseball fan since birth, I loved it - but not just for the baseball or the fact that it was essentially filmed in my backyard in Oakland, California – but also because of it how much it resonated with the work I do at Aspire Public Schools and all the amazing Billy Beans/Peter Brand’s of the education world that I’ve recently met. You see, there are many people in the education sector who in spite of many obstacles, are working hard to utilize data to boost student achievement in unprecedented ways - a group we at Aspire like to call “Data Heroes.”
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a Data Hero, but in case you doubt your worthiness of this title, ask yourself these questions:
Do you believe data has a role to play in making good decisions for students?
Do you find yourself spending hours in Excel to reveal where students are excelling or struggling so you can figure out what can be done about it?
Are you periodically referred to as a “data geek?” (Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to tell us your answers…)
If you answered yes to the questions above, congratulations, you’re a Data Hero! (Major props! They should make a movie about you!)
Here at Aspire, I am part of a team that, over the last 4 years, has built tools that allow Aspire’s Data Heroes (principals, teachers, central office staff) to easily access accurate data, create interactive reports, and then partner with others to make good decisions for students. Seeing the transformative power of our work here (like 100% graduation rates and 100% college acceptance ), and the folks we keep meeting who are as hungry for data as we are, we knew we had to share the tools we had developed. That’s why we’re sharing our tools on Schoolzilla. Play around with a sample report (below) see what it can do!How could you envision using these insights to explore changes to your instructional program?
Although Schoolzilla is in its early stages, we’re excited it has opened the door to invigorating conversations with other people who are passionate about simplifying the process of collecting and using data for students. I hope this blog will ignite more conversations about how we can share our stories. We have much to learn from one another and I can’t wait to hear about your ideas, experiences, and discuss innovations in the space.
Welcome to Schoolzilla's Data Heroes blog! We hope this will be a place for education's Data Heroes - people who believe data has the power to transform how we make decisions for students - can come together to share thoughts, ideas, and solutions!
Schoolzilla's mission is to provide best-in-class tools that equip people who work in education with the data they need to make good decisions for students. Check us out at www.schoolzilla.org.
Are you a Data Hero? Send us your story! email@example.com