Mastery Charter Schools, based in Philadelphia, Pa., has mastered the art of the turnaround—transforming underperforming schools with the ingenuity, skills, and commitment of its educators and administrators.
For Peter Lee, deputy chief of technology, Mastery’s success results in part from its commitment to create a teaching culture guided by data. “I would say that data is key to our efforts,” he says. “Culturally, our people pride themselves on being data driven. We are using data to inform virtually all of our decisions; it’s important to the planning, management, and organizational culture here.”
Supported by the full suite of SunGard K-12 Education’s student products—eSchoolPLUS, IEPPLUS, and PerformancePLUS—Mastery Charter Schools has launched data initiatives that are supporting student achievement and turning around underperforming schools.
For example, the network of charter schools builds all of its interim assessments in PerformanceTRACKER. “Every student who is in the same grade takes the same test, so we get normed results that allow us to see how students are doing,” explains Lee. “We can measure their growth relative to their peer group across the whole network. So we are not looking at an individual student or an individual class, we’re looking at entire grade levels and cohorts.”
Every day, the charter school network puts at its educators’ fingertips the data they need to make informed decisions.
“We use PerformanceTRACKER rather extensively for the management of the process of tracking longitudinal student performance data,” he says. “We have a custom data extract that we pull from PerformanceTRACKER nightly that comes into our data warehouse. We overlay the PerformanceTRACKER data with data from eSchoolPLUS and other systems we are using. Then, we push out one consolidated view of the world.” Through this consolidated view, data is positively affecting student achievement and propelling a personalized approach to education for all of Mastery’s students.
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