Blog: Education by the Numbers

Blog: Education by the Numbers

Federal watchdog slams charter school data

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report in July, complaining that charter school data is so incomplete that it could not determine whether charter schools are avoiding non-English speaking students. “Specifically, for over one-third of charter schools, the field for reporting the counts of ELLs (English Language Learners) enrolled in ELL programs was left blank,” the report summary said.

Blog: Education by the Numbers

A call for more data, and less anonymous data, to contain college costs

In Higher Education, Data Transparency, and the Limits of Data Anonymi…, Reihan Salam in the online version of the National Review writes, “I am increasingly convinced that unless governments do a better job of measuring student learning and labor market outcomes, any reform efforts will be of limited use.” In the piece Salam cites an idea from Andrew P.

Blog: Education by the Numbers

The education search engines are coming

Searching the internet for recipes, academic papers or ex boyfriends is easy. But if you’re a teacher looking for a lesson plan, a textbook excerpt, or a fun brain teaser to share with your class, good luck.

Blog: Education by the Numbers

District administrators balk at calculating how much each school spends per student

Since President Johnson’s War on Poverty Program in 1965, policy makers have been trying to equalize education spending across the United States. The lofty goal is for schools with lots of poor students to have access to the same resources that schools with rich kids have. But researchers and advocates for the poor have pointed to loopholes in Title I funding that effectively allow affluent schools to operate at higher levels of funding than low-income schools.

Blog: Education by the Numbers

More college educated parents, but their kids are not getting smarter

Here’s another data puzzle I’ve been thinking about. Why is it that more and more kids have college educated parents, but high school test scores are not improving? In 1978, only 32 percent of the parents of 17-year-old students had obtained a college degree. In 2012, 51 percent of the parents of 17 year olds had a college education. That’s a gigantic 59 percent jump in parental education. Why isn’t it making a difference?

Blog: Education by the Numbers

Can an algorithm ID high school drop outs in first grade?

Early warning systems to detect high-school drop outs are all the rage in education data circles. See this post on a new early warning system in Wisconsin. Like the Wisconsin example, most data systems focus on identifying middle school students. But what if researchers could use grades, attendance and behavior data to identify at-risk students as soon as possible — as early as first grade?

Blog: Education by the Numbers

Principals likely to overlook girls who are at risk for dropping out of school

In the Spring of 2013 Wisconsin tested a a data-driven early warning system that can identify which middle-school students are at risk-for dropping out of high school. After 5800 students were identified for teachers and counselors to work with, the principals of these schools were surveyed on whether they were already aware that these students were having trouble. With regard to most of the these students, the answer was, “yes”. The principals knew about them before the data told them.

But principals admitted that some of the students were not on their radar screen.

Blog: Education by the Numbers

Teens read less today than 30 years ago, national data show

Here’s a bit of data that confirms what we already suspect. According to a 2012 survey by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), fewer than 20 percent of 17-year-old high school students (19 percent to be exact) say that they read for fun on their own time almost every day. That is the lowest percentage since NAEP began asking that question to U.S. elementary, middle and high school students. Back in 1984, more than 30 percent of 17 year olds said they read for fun every day.