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Indiana News

INSBOE wants public input on data to use as part of new school performance dashboard

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Indiana's education officials are seeking public comment on how to best measure the way schools prepare students for life after high school, as part of the State Board of Education's process to develop a new school performance dashboard.

Last month, the board decided what areas to highlight, including students' academic mastery, communication skills, and work ethic, among others. Now the board is deciding what data it should use to illustrate those. 

Ron Sandlin is the director of school performance and transformation at the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). He said some of the dashboard data will be used as so-called "headline metrics" to give a sense of a school's quality at first-glance, while other, additional data points will provide a more in-depth look.

"Informational metrics will complement this narrow set of headline metrics and allow the consumer to dig in deeper and to learn more about what's going on in the school building," he said.

A presentation for the board offered different indicators like enrollment in high-quality pre-K, community-based survey results and graduation rates as possible informational metrics for various skills.

Some of the proposed data measures already exist, like test scores and dual credit completion, and are collected by IDOE and other state agencies. But other measures are in-progress or "aspirational," and will take time to develop, as Education Secretary Katie Jenner explained at the meeting.

"Kindergarten readiness, for example – we need to put some time into determining what indicators might be beneficial to understand kindergarten readiness," she said.

Hoosiers can submit public comments through the department's online form until Nov. 30.

Contact reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.