Message from the Director
Meeting the Increased Need for Research and Evaluation Generated Reports, Analyses, and Evaluations
The District’s quest to dramatically improve student achievement has resulted in a significant increase in ad hoc research requests for the Department to complete, as many as 100 such requests in the past year alone. These tasks vary from analyzing acceleration in AP participation to determining yearly growth in the graduation rate.
Collaborating with the Educational Data Warehouse (EDW) Department to Create New Applications for the District, School, and Teacher Levels
The SDPBC is widely recognized at the State and National levels as having one of the premier EDWs in North America. Research and Evaluation is proud of its role in helping the District achieve this distinction. This year, in cooperation with the EDW, we are developing the following EDW applications:
- A revision of the Key Results Scorecard to reflect new FY2010 FDOE high school grading rules,
- Proportion of A Year’s Growth made by various groups of District students in reading and in mathematics,
- A replacement for the School Effectiveness Questionnaire (SEQ).
Providing the Children’s Services Council with the Data to Make Effective Data Driven Decisions
In FY2002 the SDPBC and Children’s Services Council established a partnership in which, in return for funding a specialist’s position within the Department of Research and Evaluation, the Department would dedicate that specialist to the compilation and delivery of data to the CSC, both at the aggregate and individual student levels and conduct other analyses and evaluations as required by the CSC. This year, to strengthen this already healthy partnership, the Department and CSC staff members are conducting ongoing, face to face meetings to pinpoint CSC data needs and to conduct advanced statistical analysis for CSC program evaluations.
Collaborating with the Department of Assessment to Streamline and Automate Assessment Creation
Our Department programmers have replaced all Diagnostic tests in Reading, Mathematics, and Science by creating application software for the development and storage of items that automate the assembly of tests, produce answer keys, and provide the supporting data needed to score the tests. Results from these new assessments are compiled by our Department and then reported to EDW for use by schools.
Aligning Student Performance to National and International Standards
The Superintendent has stated on several occasions that he expects the District to become the best in the Nation. To that end, the Department aligned the State’s FCAT Assessment Program results to the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) and TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) score scales. The study results revealed that under the NAEP standard, our District performed better than or similar to the National average at basic and proficient levels for grade 4 and 8 reading and mathematics in FY2009.
Strengthening of the Program Evaluation Design
In order to strengthen the design for the evaluation of programs in the District, the Department is investigating the use of design features that will statistically substantiate the similarities between the program group (usually the group of students or schools that have used a specific program of instruction) and the comparison group (a matched group of students or schools that have not used the specific program of instruction). This will provide a stronger structure in our analysis for supporting causal inferences about a program’s effectiveness.
Creation of a New Policy for Research Requests
The Department is formulating a new comprehensive policy for research requests in collaboration with the District’s Legal Department and the IT Department of Applications Support and Quality Assurance.