Monday, March 1, 2010

MISD Research, Assessment, and Accountability Web site Launched

The Mansfield ISD has recently launched a comprehensive Web site dedicated to research, assessment, and accountability data. The primary purpose of this site is to provide the community a “one stop shop” for all data related to student performance.

What do we hope to achieve by providing access to this type of data/research?
Providing performance data will support the district’s efforts of identifying strengths, weaknesses, and any achievement gaps that may exist between groups. With this insight, we will be able to set goals, develop strategies, and plan more effectively, taking into account the unique needs of each student.

Site visitors will have access to all accountability summaries at the district and campus level so progress on state and national standards can be assessed.

Information on this site includes the following:
Why are we providing this Web site?
While it is great to praise progress, it is counter-productive to avoid accepting and dealing with academic short-comings. Therefore, all data are made available publicly so we can see where the district’s been, where it is currently, and can plan for where it wants to go in the future. The goal is to be pro-active and not ignore those areas where improvement is needed.

Staff Benefits
The old phrase knowledge is power is relevant when one considers the fact that with knowledge comes an increase in one’s ability to utilize resources including time, personnel, and funding in a way that positively affects our students. By having access to current and trend level data, district educators are empowered. Our capacity to more effectively plan begins with being able to identify what’s working and what’s not. By having access to up-to-date data, action plans that are meaningful, measurable, and on target can be developed and implemented. Lastly, and more importantly, providing teachers with easy access to student level data will hopefully prevent any student from falling between the cracks and will enable teachers to identify areas that need attention before a pattern of failure develops.

Benefits for Parents
Parents will have easy access to how their child’s campus is performing on state and national tests and will be able to determine where their support can be most beneficial and effective to the campus. Additionally, in a later phase of the site’s development we will provide parents with access to their child’s test performance. This will enhance their ability to make informed decisions and to monitor their child’s academic progress.

What’s next for the site?
The MISD Research, Assessment and Accountability Department has several online projects currently in development.

  • Phase I, just completed, provides readers with campus and district level summary reports, research studies and other articles, and links to external sites. Most of the reports presented at this time are in PDF and easily downloaded.
  • Phase II of the Web site’s development focuses on a “query-based” system that extracts data from a centrally-maintained database. This phase will be available to the user via the “Report Builder” tab. Access to this function will be available on a limited basis to campus level teachers and administrators. With the implementation of this interactive feature, campus personnel will be able to access student level test data including TAKS and norm-referenced results so instructional strategies can be planned based on the unique needs of each student.
  • Phase III will expand the “Report Builder” functionality to include campus summary reports based on a series of selection criteria designated by the user.
  • Phase IV of this project is focused on the development of a portal that will provide parents with the means to access their child’s test performance via a login and password. The goal for providing this access is to empower parents in a way that helps them more fully understand their child’s academic needs so they can be better informed advocates.
Please visit the Mansfield ISD Research, Assessment, and Accountability site and let us know what you think.

1 comment:

K. Merryfield said...

Great Job Assessment & Accountability Office! This is an informative and easy to navigate site. I like how all of the information and data is easily accesible for parents, teachers, and administrators. The organization of the reports is also helpful along with the explanations and manuals that are at the click of a mouse. It is obvious that much thought and effort has gone into the creation of this site.....Can't wait for the next phases to roll out!