National Exemplars Lead the Way for Delaware School Profiles
In July 2007, Governor Minner charged the LEAD Committee with “oversee[ing] the development of a one-page, plain language summary of key performance measures that will provide a useful and understandable measurement of the performance of every public school, district, and the State.” The goal was to accomplish one of the recommendations of Vision 2015: “use a common scorecard measuring individual student achievement gains over time, student engagement and retention, family-school interactions, fiscal accountability, and ‘customer satisfaction’ among students, parents, and teachers.”
The Committee recommended criteria (that were aligned with those in Vision 2015) and discussed how Delaware might build on and improve national models, including Chicago Public Schools’ one page reports and North Carolina. In August 2008, the DOE released revised, four-page School Profiles, which were slightly improved from previous profiles but did not reflect the work of LEAD or recommendations of Vision 2015.
Delawareans have agreed; to have a “useful and understandable measurement”, we need:
- A more concise document (one page rather than four)
- A more useful tool, that displays state, district, and national comparisons
- Relevant data points, including engagement/customer satisfaction, family-school interactions, and student achievement gains over time
Many national examples exist (Los Angeles, Dallas). This effort would not require a lengthy development process, and it would provide a vehicle for the state to communicate its top priorities.
And if we really wanted to be progressive, we’d have a real-time data system that provided the public with information throughout the school year, rather than as a post-mortem after school is out.