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Schools using data to measure success, improve outcomes

Rachel Wheeler Archive
Global Toronto recently released data about the success of schools in Ontario based on standardized tests scores in the province. Across the board, the report indicated students tend to perform better when they come from higher-income households, compared to students from lower-income homes.

"There has been a great deal of research over the years showing that poverty reduces school success," said Dr. Jane Gaskell from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. "Income is linked to various forms of cultural, social and economic capital, all of which help students do well in school."

The report is being used to identify new ways of helping children perform in school. Similarly, a school district in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, recently released data from a new system of measuring public schools' academic success, called the Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR).

This new system, which takes a deeper look at students' performance, outside of just the scores considered by the No Child Left Behind Act, will help the district evaluate success more accurately.

When school districts are using these systems of evaluation, they should make sure they have a proper tool in place to verify data quality. This should ensure results are correct and can be used effectively.