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5 Reasons Your School Needs a Data Warehouse

Posted by Adam Jones on April 20, 2017

What do you think of when you hear the word data? Do you envision numbers rapidly scrolling on a computer screen like in The Matrix? Or of spreadsheets with endless rows and columns filled with figures and formulas? Even worse, maybe the word is anxiety-inducing because you’ve heard the phrases data-driven instruction and data-driven decision-making a few too many times.

What do you think of when you hear the word warehouse? Do you imagine forklifts carrying pallets of cardboard boxes across dusty concrete floors? Or a place where things go to be stored, perhaps indefinitely?

Despite some of these connotations, a data warehouse designed for educators is a platform for exploring questions tied to improving teaching and learning. A data warehouse built for teachers should bring together multiple sources of student information so that strengths and areas for improvement become clear. Any single source of information is likely insufficient to draw conclusions. But by storing, sorting, and synthesizing summative, diagnostic, and formative assessment results, a data warehouse can help educators identify problems and solutions more effectively and efficiently.

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Topics: assessments, Data Warehouse, educators, Pivot, education, teaching, school improvement

Who Should Really Be Taking Algebra I in Middle School?

Posted by Schauna Findlay Relue on April 5, 2016

The idea that we should accelerate students' math curriculum to ensure they can complete Calculus before graduation was a trend in the early 2000's that we now are able to see the results from. Requiring students to take Algebra I in middle school has proven problematic because there are many students being accelerated without the required foundational skills for future math success.

While these students may be able to earn a passing grade and pass the state test for Algebra I, the lack of foundational skills and many standards which are left unmastered eventually catch up with students as they pursue higher math courses. With our shift to college- and career-readiness standards, we must rethink how we are determining placement into accelerated math classes for middle school students and how we are designing the middle school curriculum to ensure students do not have gaps in their learning.

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Topics: Algebra, assessments, curriculum, Data Warehouse, educators, math, Pivot, Pivot INSPECT, Software

Gut Feelings vs. Data-Driven Decisions

Posted by Tamra Ranard on February 3, 2016

Do you ever make decisions based on “gut feeling”? Can you tell within minutes of meeting someone whether you like them or you don’t?  Are you a teacher who magnifier-24270_1280.pngcan tell within the first week which of your students will graduate first in class, last in class, or not at all?  

Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink,, talks about the decisions we make every day, in an instant – in the blink of an eye. In the book, he talks about processing information quickly with the ability to “thin-slice” or filter multiple factors to come to a conclusion. He goes on to point out that there are some people who are very good at this, but there are more that think they have great intuition and, in fact, they are very, very wrong.

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Topics: Data Warehouse, Integration Services, Pivot, Software

Early Warning System for Dropout Prevention: the ABC's

Posted by Schauna Findlay Relue on October 17, 2015

For a number of years, we have heard that our nation has a dropout crisis. The ESSA requires that every state's Title I plan must "include how they will support districts in meeting needs of students in middle grades to improve effective transitions to middle and high school to reduce risk of dropping out."

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Topics: Data Warehouse, Pivot, dropout prevention, early warning indicator system