Nassau BOCES Data Analyst Jeff Davis works alongside Harvard Strategic Data Project Fellow Brandi Bakshi at the Robert E. Lupinskie Center for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology.
Nassau BOCES has been selected as one of 20 educational organizations to participate in the Strategic Data Project, a program of the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University. The agency will be partnering with CEPR to transform data usage in education to improve teacher, student and school achievement.
Nassau BOCES is perfectly poised to lead this work. In 2001, the agency created the first student Data Warehouse in New York State -- three years before the state data warehouse was established. Every year, the agency collects, studies and disseminates reports about the testing scores of the county's 225,000 K-12 students.
"We're excited by the educational opportunities that will result from this partnership with a community of highly skilled analysts," said Dr. Thomas Rogers, District Superintendent of Nassau BOCES. "Learning ways to correctly analyze and utilize data to improve outcomes will greatly benefit our school districts, teachers and most importantly our students."
Today, Nassau BOCES gathers large quantities of data from students, teachers and schools, but it cannot be used to its full potential. The data from each source is kept separately, not interacting with each other, thus limiting the ability for educators and policy makers to see trends and make informed decisions. Nassau BOCES staff will be able to take all of the individual streams of data they have collected and make them work together. This information will impact instruction, student success and help school districts decide where to invest time and other resources.
"The teacher will always be in the driver's seat; the data will be the GPS at his or her side," Rogers explained.
Unlike other state data efforts, Nassau BOCES is always in control of the data, keeping it secure and maintaining student privacy. It is not made available to third parties.
Participating in the Strategic Data Project will provide Nassau BOCES staff members the opportunity to work alongside a national network of skilled analysts that are focused solely on improving student achievement in public schools.
CEPR partners with school districts, non-profits and state education agencies to transform research methods and data analysis to alter the way strategic management and policy decisions are made.
"Student achievement data are vital for evaluating policies and programs, yet they are underutilized in every school district and state agency in America," said Tom Kane, Faculty Director of CEPR and professor of education and economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. "With this program, we're providing system leaders with the analytic talent they need to use their own data to learn what's working and what's not."