During our User Experience (UX) research, we noticed a common problem that many administrators struggled with: getting relevant data and figuring out how to use it effectively. School administrators and teachers who we talked to had trouble finding data that showed how their schools were changing over time, having to settle for large scale data at the state or county level. State officials, on the other hand, struggled to find meaningful trends in data because each school district seemed to have their own way to report their compliance, leaving state officials on their own to compile statistics.
These challenges with reporting data make it hard for each level of administration to effectively communicate or understand the progress being made. For every link in the chain from state policy makers to teachers, people have had to make the best decisions they can with the incomplete information they have. This has led to many changes being made that address one measurement statistic without looking at the big picture.
Stepwell’s powerful performance metrics allow for administrators across the board to get a clear picture of how the people around them are doing.
State Officials: Painting the Real Picture of Compliance
While trying to monitor many different school districts, it can be hard to get a good idea of what is going on in each situation. What was the reason for this school’s drop in grad rates? How do students with disabilities here compare to the other students? Even though this school is out of IDEA compliance, are they improving from previous years? All these questions can be overwhelming and require digging through mountains of data to answer.
With Stepwell’s on-demand data, state monitors are easily able to see the big picture behind what is going on at each school. They can then give better advice to districts on how to move forward with detailed plans for improvement. With clear data, monitors can talk about specific points that districts can improve on.
Local Administrators: Figuring out What Works
For local administrators, Stepwell’s data bytes give insight into how their districts are doing compared to state and national guidelines. They can see if their schools are close to falling out of IDEA compliance, so they can address issues before they become problems that require state supervision. If they do fall out of compliance, local administrators are able to communicate with state officials to find what resources are out there to help them improve or what strategies are working for other districts.
Local administrators can also focus on their own district to come up with strategies for success. Superintendents and principals can use Stepwell’s powerful data metrics while they are talking with teachers to identify how best to help students with special needs.
By creating a platform that gives on demand access to data and fosters fluid communication, Stepwell allows for state officials and local administrators to understand what is happening at each level of IDEA compliance. With clear planning and collaboration, schools can ensure that they are not only improving IDEA compliance, but improving education for students with special needs.