Blackboard hosted K-20 leaders from education, government and business at the July “Pipeline Matters Council” to collaboratively address leaks in the education pipeline. The meeting represented the first major effort within the Blackboard Institute, a new endeavor for us that seeks to help education leaders improve student progression with actionable guidance drawn from Blackboard’s proximity to education practice.
At the meeting, a lot of people shared technology-based solutions like dual enrollment, early warning systems and electronic student portfolios happening in their school, system or state. Here, attendee Bill Erlendson, assistant superintendent for accountability and community development, San Jose Unified Schools District (SJUSD) in California, offers some insight into how SJUSD is using data in real-time to guide practice at all levels. This is the first of many insights into education problems and the real practice of addressing them in a multitude of different environments to come from the Blackboard Institute.
Gordon Freedman, Blackboard Institute
Attending the Blackboard Institute K20 Council
The Blackboard Institute’s K20 Council provided an excellent opportunity to share innovation and establish priorities for workable solutions at all levels of education. For those of you who were unable to attend the Institute, here is an overview of one of the initiatives we are implementing in San Jose Unified School District, California that I presented. This initiative uses our robust student data and information system to create predictive tools that support early prevention for students at risk of failure.
Innovation in Prevention: Creating a Student Risk Assessment & Management Project (RAMP)- A Predictive Model.
The student drop out rate is continuing to increase at alarming rates in California and nationally. Given the limited resources to address a wide range of student issues and needs, it is imperative for school districts to use data strategically to intervene early and effectively. Current interventions are designed without adequate monitoring and evaluation and are often reactively applied.
The goal of the Student Risk Assessment & Management Project (RAMP) is to create a demonstration model using longitudinal student data systems for state-wide/national dissemination and use. The objective is to raise student graduation rates and significantly reduce dropouts. The project is designed to provide tools for earlier and more accurate identification of students at risk of school failure and timely delivery of interventions at critical stages of student learning.
In combination with the most extensive grade K-12 student longitudinal data warehouse in California, San Jose Unified is well positioned to develop a demonstration drop out prevention model that will serve to inform districts state-wide and nationally. Data driven indicators are being developed that will enable alignment of prescriptive and targeted interventions to increase student graduation rates and significantly reduce dropouts.
The RAMP Project is intended to provide for earlier and more accurate identification of students at-risk of school failure and increased capacity for the delivery of evidence-based interventions that may be proactively monitored for effectiveness and impact. There are numerous anticipated benefits to be realized from the project.
This project is both innovative and far-reaching, with significant implications for all public school systems. Our research has failed to identify other school districts with such an advanced and scientific approach to at-risk student identification within an evaluative framework that also provides the capacity for monitoring the impact of academic, social and systemic interventions. As the RAMP project becomes fully realized, we anticipate multiple benefits, including increased student achievement, reduced school failure (dropouts), more efficient school district operations, and the sharing and dissemination of a unique and innovative model with other school districts statewide and nationally.
If you’re interested in more information on this or other things that were shared at the Council, please feel free to contact me at Bill_Erlendson@sjusd.org