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Google Tools Help Struggling Schools Collect and Analyze Student Data

Google Tools Help Struggling Schools Collect and Analyze Student Data

New York City schools are using Google Drive, free online software that helps administrators collect and organize student records to better figure out school-wide patterns in order to implement change.

City schools have begun using the spreadsheets after help from New Visions for Public Schools, a non-profit that suggested the district compile student data in easy-to-use spreadsheets to best track student performance.

Previously, “[t]he city’s school-data systems [have not been] typically known for being user friendly. The attendance database known as ATS is a decades-old program resembling MS-DOS that users navigate by typing four-letter codes. Even veteran school workers can struggle to pull useful information out of the system,” says the New York Chalkbeat.

Collecting and interpreting data is especially important for New York City’s underperforming schools known as Renewal schools.

Education department officials believe student attendance and academic performance data are crucial to fix struggling schools but so far implementation of data collection has been nothing short of clunky.

"Last spring, for example, department officials had hoped to send schools detailed lists of seniors who needed additional credits to graduate. They didn’t manage to get those lists out until late May, just weeks before the end of classes. Even then, the lists only came together with last-minute help from New Visions,” the Chalkbeat said.

But Google spreadsheets have so far helped make the process quicker and easier for the staff members that use it.

So far, Renewal schools using the new data tools have been able to use data to target students who need Regents tutoring during lunch or free periods. They’ve used the attendance tool to target students for phone calls or rewards. Eventually, they plan to use the tools to identify subjects that are tripping up many students so they can offer those classes during the extra period that is required in all Renewal schools.”

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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