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State Board of Education gives update on Indiana Graduates Prepared for Success

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In the last board meeting for the year, the Indiana State Board of Education approved three new locally created graduation pathways and gave an update for the upcoming release of the Indiana Graduates Prepared for Success dashboard.

Indiana GPS would provide a one stop data site on all school districts across the state featuring constantly updated information like kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade literacy, graduation pathway completion, employment and enrollment.

In a visual presentation, the board explained that the site will feature an Indiana GPS “scrollytelling” landing page introducing the user to Indiana GPS, a state infographic page displaying the contextual statistics from the “scrollytelling” experience along with state benchmarks and goals and district and school landing pages displaying performance in headline indicators along with their progress toward meeting benchmarks.

The Indiana Department of Education has also worked with a number of schools to review each indicator and the underlying student-level data.

“I really believe the vision, the charge and the permission to do this work that we just heard discussed. I bring that up, because we always lead with the Indiana GPS guiding principals,” said Assistant Secretary of Student Pathways & Opportunities with the department, Jason Callahan.

Ahead of the upcoming public release of the dashboard, Indiana school leaders are actively previewing it and providing feedback, with several updates already made or underway to make it easier for users to gain meaning from the data. This includes clarifying the methods and calculation, as well as explaining instances where no data is available (i.e. redaction for FERPA).

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The department is currently prioritizing a list of all planned enhancements and will make that list publicly available.

The development of this dashboard is an iterative process and will continue to be improved over time, with new data and features added.

In an update on the project, Callahan discussed how state and school district infographics will measure performance based on topics like graduation rates, district enrollment and employment, and stats like reading literacy. Indiana Secretary of Education, Dr. Katie Jenner explains:

“If you look at every child who’s taken an AP exam. If I write Katherine Jenner instead of Katie Jenner it causes a data issue. Then what we do as a department is we have a match algorithm that can pretty quickly take care of most them, but there’s a tiny percentage that we have to go through manually that our team does,” Jenner said.

House Enrolled Act 1514 legislation passed in 2021 that required the state to launch a school performance dashboard.

The school performance dashboard will prioritize access, elevate excellence, and  empower all who support Indiana students’ learning. The dashboard will:

  • Empower educators by defining clear expectations for student knowledge in the Indiana GPS characteristics.
  • Support families and community stakeholders by providing them meaningful, relevant, and transparent information about school progress and performance.
  • Elevate the highest-performing schools as models of excellence, and identify other schools for additional support.

Indiana will be unique in collecting daily attendance. We’re one of a few states that will over this, according to Callahan.

“So, when we had this discovery we found that around 12 or 15 schools out of around 2200 schools have some attendance issues. On those screens for those schools we’re going to have a pop up when you click on that school,” said Dr. Jenner about how these transparent findings will help education leaders understanding underlying issues.

The dashboard will give the state and independent districts goals to reach.

In conjunction with the upcoming public release, the following resources will be available to schools:

  • Example social media posts and images for schools to engage parents & community
  • “How to” videos for superintendents and families
  • Instructions on how to link Indiana GPS on district and school website

In 2023, schools will be able to use the dashboard to view authenticated student-level data (not available to the public). The Indiana Department of Education will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to bring together pertinent data and develop additional approved indicators. They’ll also work with educators, parents/families, community leaders, and the General Assembly to determine how schools are best measured in the future.

You can find a detailed timeline of the Indiana GPS progress HERE.