Teachers and administrators of Carroll County Public Schools will soon have access to student assessment data in just a few short clicks.
A data dashboard will give teachers and administrators the ability to compare state, AP and local test data with different classrooms and students within the county and throughout the state.
Teachers “wanted a one-stop shop to get their data,” Jeff Alisauckas, supervisor of teacher and leadership development, said Oct. 14, during the most recent meeting of the Board of Education.
It is part of the school system’s strategic plan to provide staff insight on student performance that could result in modifying instructional programs to meet the needs of all students, according to meeting documents.
The platform, called Performance Matters, shows each student’s schedules, their contact information and the grades they’ve earned throughout the years. It will also display early warnings, such as if a student is absent more than 10% of the time, Alisauckas said.
Teachers can also see the results of various state tests, including the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program, or MCAP, Advance Placement tests and local tests. The scores can be color coded to show performance level. Blue is the highest level of achievement and green means good. Red and orange highlights represent lower scores.
Educators can choose to display scores by performance, as well as by gender, ethnicity, course, classroom and teacher.
They will also view how students responded to each question. The results could have teachers reassessing how the question was written or if the teacher needs to review the content again, according to Alisauckas.
He said later if a student takes a local test on Monday, the results would be ready in the system by Tuesday morning.
“For me, it’s about putting the most relevant, real-time information into our teachers' hands,” Superintendent Steve Lockard said, adding that models in the past required waiting too long to see test results. “It’s about being responsive in real time instead of reacting later on.”
The data dashboard was presented to the board a year ago and put aside in March of this year due to the pandemic.
Donna Sivigny, president of the school board, said her mind was racing with ways they could use the dashboard, like addressing the learning gaps created by distant learning.
She asked if the tool will be ready in time to compare last year’s fall assessments to this this year’s “so that we can really identify that learning loss and start making plans, recovery plans for our students?”
Jason Anderson, the system’s chief academic, equity and accountability officer, said not yet because the assessments are not yet uploaded to the new platform, but they are working on it.
“As we move forward, the answer is going to be yes,” he said.
Alisauckas said more than 400 of the system’s 2,500 or so staff members, were trained on the dashboard and refreshers will be needed as well as additional training. All professional staff have access to Performance Matters right now. He said they should be able to upload and analyze tests through the system by late winter or early spring.
A select number of students will have access to the program next semester once the assessments are uploaded. Once admitted, they will not be able to access all the data, like grade comparisons.
Parents could have access, Alisauckas said, but he hasn’t explored that option because he’s not sure why they would need to. They wouldn’t be able to see grade comparisons and the information they could see, like their children’s grades, are available on HAC.
The annual cost for the new system will be $56,250. Anderson said the investment will be well worth it.
“There is a plan for the future, and we are excited about it,” he said.