Friday, June 12, 2009

Collecting Data


Every year, schools across America have in their computer databases a wealth of data that can be reported in any number of ways. Every year, schools across America dump a portion of that data as those computer programs promote students from one grade level to the next, promote the exiting grade of the system entirely, remove the connection between a student and the teacher from the previous year, and change the school year calendar. The challenge comes in making good decisions about what data to extract before the data is rolled over for the next year.

Here are the suggestions I gave our school system's reading coaches and elementary principals on what reports to run from Accelerated Reader and STAR. What is listed may seem like a great deal, but in less than an hour you will have data that can be used for year-to-year comparisons and will be useful for years to come. As far as where to file them, my filing cabinet has a folder labeled Assessment Data—Accelerated Reader and one labeled Assessment Data—STAR. There is also a folder for each of the other assessments we give (ADAW, ARMT, etc.). Each begins with “Assessment Data” followed by the name of the assessment. Each year is stapled together. That way, one folder holds all of the Accelerated Reader data for a number of years. By labeling the folders the way I have suggested here, every piece of assessment data is right together in the filing cabinet where it is easy to access.

Accelerated Reader

Schoolwide Summary—Set date range from the first day of the school year to the last. Group by Grade. This report will give you your year in terms of how each class earned points, the % of questions answered correctly, the book level on which the class is reading, and what % are at-risk. You see the same information for the grade level as a whole. This is your best “at –a-glance” report.

Diagnostic Reading Practice—Use the same settings as above. This report will give you a record of every one of your children in terms of points earned for the year, % of correct answers, and average book level.

Marking Period Progress—Select all marking periods. This report shows you how each class progressed over the year in several key areas (basically the same areas as the Schoolwide Summary).

Quiz Usage—Set the date range for the first day of the school year to the last. Select the 10 most taken quizzes. Sort by Rank. You will see the results for each class. This report will give you an idea of the most popular books for each class.

Point Club Summary—Select the date range for the first day of the school year to the last. Select the point clubs you would like to view. This report will give you an idea of which children the top point earners throughout the school.


STAR

Snapshot Report—Sort by grade level. For every student, you will see their score for the most recent test. Pay particular attention to the Grade Equivalent score. You also see group averages for each grade level.

Growth Report—You will be able to see the results of each administration of STAR for each student.

In a future post, I will provide some suggestions for other data that a school may wish to keep year after year and then how to organize that data.
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