This morning, Chalkbeat Colorado published an article highlighting the current issues around data transparency and the launch of the Right to Know Coalition. And the most important part is right at the top of the piece:
With Thursday’s release of state test results, the public has greater ability to see how well certain groups of students perform on state tests compared with their peers than they’ve had since 2015, when the state adopted a much more stringent approach.
The main change this year is that the public can see results separated by race and ethnicity, disability status, English language learner status, and economic status at the school level, rather than only by grade levels within schools. Combining results across grades creates larger sample sizes, so that in some cases they no longer had to be redacted. The practice of obscuring results for small groups of students had led to large amounts of missing information and vexed advocates for school improvement.
And state education officials are considering additional changes for 2019 that should make more information available – though just how much remains to be seen.
This is an important step forward! With the state releasing more data, know thousands more Colorado families will have the ability to understand critical data about their schools and districts. While there is still room to grow in having more data available for families, this is a major victory for Colorado families. We are very grateful to the Colorado Department of Education for working so hard to release more data so that we can know how our schools and districts are doing.
The Chalkbeat article also covered the launch of the Right to Know campaign:
Along with pressing the state to release more information, advocates for more transparency have also launched a Right to Know website and campaign to encourage districts and schools to share more information with families. Districts are required by law to share information from state assessments with parents, but practices vary widely across the state.
At a recent meeting of the State Board of Education, members of the Colorado Youth Congress, part of the Right to Know coalition, urged the state to do more to put this information in the hands of the people most affected.
“As a student, I want to know if my school is performing strongly or not so I can understand the setting I’m in and if I want to change to a different setting that would benefit me more,” said Jasmine Kabiri, a junior at Silver Creek High School in Longmont. “In a different situation, if we’re shown the performance data of my school, I could help motivate my school toward advancing themselves.”
Thanks to our many supporters and coalition members for working together in partnership to ensure we have political and community will to ensure the #righttoknow for our families and communities.