When we moved to Iowa just over five years ago our daughter was 19 months old. Six months ago we celebrated her seventh birthday. In this relatively short time, she has grown and changed a lot. Like most parents, yearly pictures are taken. In my office I keep these pictures in the same frame with the most recent one showcased. Like all parents, at times I wonder how she could have grown so much, so fast. Every once in a while I take her pictures out of the frame and line them up in order to get a “snapshot in time” perspective of what she looked like each year. On the back of each picture is a date, her height and weight. These pictures and accompanying information remind me that she continues to grow and change a great deal each year—whether I am ready for it or not. The proof is right before my eyes! Having all of this information in one spot makes this process quick and easy and allows me to spend my energy focusing on what’s important–seeing her growth and change across years, not urgently locating pictures.
With much of Iowa’s students’ educational information now in one spot too, educators can also focus on what’s important—using multiple sources of data across years to get a picture of the students, their building and district academic achievement data, as well as statewide academic data. EdInsight, Iowa’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System, is an interactive data warehouse that houses a variety of educational data. Currently, pre-formatted reports using ITBS/ITED student data, Annual Progress Reports, curriculum information and Special Education suspension and expulsions rates are available. In the near future additional test (or “assessment”) data will also be added. A way for the public to access the information is also planned in the near future.
There are also other benefits for educators using EdInsight. This powerful tool will help educators be more efficient and effective in analyzing student data. All districts across the state have equal and free access to EdInsight, which will level the playing field for some districts and be a benefit for parents, as well. EdInsight can also be used by educators to share relevant information with parents during conferences. Existing data goes back to the 2004-2005 school year. Having quick and easy access to multiple data sources will allow educators to make important comparisons and to acquire a better overall picture of each student’s academic growth across years. This information, along with current classroom information, should provide a fuller, richer picture of each student’s current academic status during conferences.
For more information about Ed Insight, contact Dr. Jon McKenzie, AEA 267 Director of Assessment & Comprehensive Improvement at 319-273-8287.