John Gatta, Ph.D. is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ECRA Group. In addition to his responsibilities at ECRA Group, John is an Assistant Professor of statistics and predictive analytics at Northwestern University, where he also serves as Director of Research. His unique blend of academic, technical, management and leadership experience gives him keen insights into how schools can best adopt research and analytics as a core strategy for quality improvement. As CEO of ECRA Group, he also serves as chief architect of ECRA's analytic infrastructure related to data structures, data warehousing, statistical algorithms and reporting.
The ability to articulate and substantiate a compelling story of student success and school quality ultimately speaks to the return on investment that schools provide the communities they serve. School quality and student success are a matter of definition. For years, federal policy has controlled the definition of student success and school quality as predominately how students perform on state assessments. As educators, we know there are many additional outcomes that predict student success and align closer to the values of local communities. The story of local school districts is more comprehensive than what state report cards capture.
The state report card is only part of the story – unless the missing parts are never told. Absent the rest of the story, the incomplete story told via the state report cards becomes the full story. The idea is to provide communities the full story.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently released student growth percentiles (SGPs) to Illinois school districts in preparation of the new school accountability system and the launch of the new Illinois school report card. While incorporating student growth into the school accountability system is a step in the right direction, it is important to recognize that ISBE SGP results are reported within an accountability context not a school improvement context.
Based on recent information provided by the Accountability Technical Advisory Committee’s (TAC) recommendations to ISBE, it is likely that ISBE will move away from linear regression toward Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) as a means to measure student growth under the new school improvement and accountability system.
I’m getting a lot of questions related to linear regression and how the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may implement linear regression to measure student growth under the new school improvement and accountability system. As a result, I decided to synthesize information as it becomes available.
Measuring student success requires moving beyond standardized test scores toward a multidimensional and personalized set of indicators that collectively capture a more modern definition of readiness, empowering students to take ownership of their learning by aligning competencies, interests, motivations and aspirations.
SCHOOL DISTRICT LEADERS face challenges when they attempt to document the relationship between costs and quality. Return on investment analysis is motivated by the strategic intentions of school boards and leadership to increase quality and optimize resource allocation. No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and state accountability laws have shaped a definition of…
Prior to the enactment of the federal No Child Left Behind ACT (NCLB) school boards and the broader school community defined the superintendency narrowly by the leader’s ability to manage fiscal, physical, and personnel resources. NCLB’s emphasis on academic achievement and school accountability began shaping a broader definition of school leadership that was far more…
Improving student performance is more dramatic when school leaders employ systemic analytics. Despite continued emphasis on systemic approaches to school improvement, schools struggle to use data and information in a manner consistent with systems thinking. Systemic thinking requires an holistic approach, one that focuses on the total school system by examining and understanding the interrelationships…