Kansas District Uses Statistical Data To Improve Standardized Test Scores
Blue Valley School District of Johnson County, KS is successfully using statistical analysis software to foster dramatic improvements in student standardized test scores from the diagnostics at the beginning of the school year to the state exams at the end.
The suburban Kansas City district collects data on student demographics, grades, state assessment scores and Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) exams. Then, using the SAS software package, BVSD analyzes the data and can access reports indicating where any individual student is struggling.
BVSD's "Strategic Plan" strives for 100 percent of students to meet or exceed state standards in every subject. "Using our student data system, principals begin the year knowing where our children stand compared to standards," said Bob Moore, Blue Valley's executive director of information technology. "They can see district trends, predict state assessment scores and collaborate with teachers to tailor instructional strategies to each child."
The results thus far indicate the program is a success and is well on track to meet the goals of the districts plan. The percentage of students meeting or exceeding state reading assessment standards rose from 83 percent in 2004 to nearly 96 percent last year. In math, the rate rose from 81 percent to 95 percent.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.