Plan 2020 Indicators


SECC will provide external facilitation and expertise for Alabama's implementation of Plan 2020, the state's new education reform strategic plan. Plan 2020 establishes priorities in four areas—learners, professionals, support systems, and schools/systems.

This project is in the following state: Alabama.

This project relates to the following ED Priorities:

  • Implementing college- and career-ready standards and aligned, high-quality assessments for all students
  • Using data-based decision-making to improve instructional practices, policies, and student outcomes

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Previous Work Updates

2016

September

The Alabama Plan 2020 SECC project staff met during their SECC quarterly meeting in Austin, Texas, in September. The project lead shared the background and the context for past work with the ALSDE research and development team then she summarized the discussion that took place at the SECC Year 5 Work Plan meeting with ALSDE. This year, the focus of the project will be using data for examining third grade literacy and mathematics. In gearing up for the work, SECC staff members began reviewing salient resources. Next steps are to contact respective ALSDE staff to begin needs sensing and designing TA plans.

August

During the SECC Year 5 work plan meeting held August 19 in Montgomery, Alabama, members of the ALSDE leadership team requested continued SECC support with the Plan 2020 project through Year 5. The state’s chief priority will be to improve achievement in reading and math for students in Grade 3. Thus, the Plan 2020 Year 5 project team will advance its capacity and efforts in using predictive data analytics that will provide the state leadership team with information on the progress students and educators are making with regard to performance on third grade achievement goals. This information will allow for enhanced decision making at the executive level. In addition to the discussion of Year 5 needs, ALSDE confirmed sending a team of three staff members to a SECC-sponsored data visualization training slated for December 2016 in Austin, Texas.

July

ALSDE research and development project staff shared SEA logos with SECC to include in the Plan 2020 Data Primer. Next steps for SECC staff are to collaborate with AIR graphic designers to include front and back covers and share it with an internal content expert for review.

June

With the Plan 2020 Data Primer in its final form, the team considered plans for next steps. One possibility is to disseminate the work so other states or districts can apply these ideas to their own contexts. In an effort to broaden the reach and use of the data primer to a wider audience, SECC staff proposed submitting a conference proposal to copresent the work at a national or regional education research conference. SECC is currently awaiting feedback from ALSDE and considering other opportunities to present the data primer.

May

After inserting data visuals developed by ALSDE into the Plan 2020 data primer, SECC project staff presented it at the SECC Advisory Board meeting on May 25 in South Carolina. SECC’s next steps are to share the primer with ALSDE for final input and approval before making it a final draft.

April

Research and development staff from ALSDE provided SECC with charts and graphs they created to be included in the Plan 2020 data primer. SECC staff will include these data visuals in the primer as appropriate. Once integrated, SECC staff will prepare the document for formatting.

March

SECC staff wrote an introduction section to the data primer and continued to integrate graphics and output into the last section. Their next steps are to format, edit, and revise the document before sharing it with the SEA.

February

As the SECC team discussed including scatter plots in the data primer, it determined it also needed a section on interpreting SPSS Output. The team will use the output based on prior work session activities that included prediction analyses for the graduation rate and the ACT.

January

As SECC project team members worked to complete the data primer, they included scatterplots in the last section on data visualization. The scatterplots that will be included in the primer were generated from practice regression analyses completed during Spring 2015 and Fall 2014. Once the charts are incorporated into the primer, SECC plans to share the final document with ALSDE.

2015

December

SECC staff discussed a January timeline for finalizing updates to the data primer, a document describing how to build prediction models to analyze student outcomes including the graduation rate. The most recent edits to the primer include adding tips for data visualization techniques when developing presentations, addressing minor revisions and editing, and formatting for publishing. Once these edits are complete, SECC staff will share the document with the SEA.  

November

SECC staff continued to refine and develop the data primer, a supplement to the Plan 2020 project work, which provides a step-by-step process for building prediction models using regression analyses on the graduation rate and other student outcomes.

October

SECC staff reviewed the Plan 2020 work completed during Year 3 and discussed activities and related work on deliverables that will continue into Year 4, such as the data primer. As the ALSDE team works to complete an internal program evaluation of two major state initiatives, SECC staff will continue to refine and develop the data primer.

September

SECC staff reviewed the Plan 2020 Year 4 work plan and discussed possible lines of technical assistance, as the project has moved into the sustaining phase with plans for scaling up. Next steps are to have a conversation with the SEA to discuss details for upcoming activities, including a timeline.

August

During the SECC Year 4 Work Plan meeting held in Montgomery, the Research and Development section coordinator requested continued technical assistance (TA) for scaling up its Plan 2020 work. Namely, the SEA is interested in strengthening its capacity to use data to make predictions on learner outcomes and support high-level decision making. In addition, ALSDE would like to continue the development of the data primer, a resource document that supports SEA staff with the nuts and bolts of data analysis. Next steps are to revise the Year 4 plan to include these additional TA requests and begin project planning.

July

SECC/AIR Senior TA Consultant Heidi Goertzen and the ALSDE Research and Development section coordinator held a conference call to review progress on Year 3 activities using the Plan 2020 logic model as a tool to facilitate the conversation on past and future collaboration and project outcomes. Upon reviewing the logic model, they determined that the project is now in the sustaining phase. To finish up Year 3, the team plans to complete the data primer, a deliverable supporting SEA staff as they undertake future data analytic work on their strategic plan for education. Plans for Year 4 include keeping the project open with SECC staff serving in a consultative role.

June

SECC project staff met with ALSDE Research and Development staff to provide technical assistance with innovative approaches to data visualization. During the work session, the team took a critical look at principles of data visualization through discussion, modeling, and hands-on practice. Specific topics we addressed included the science behind data visualization, the importance of identifying significant points found in the data, and how to best communicate those points through the careful selection and design of charts, tables, graphs, and dashboards. To highlight one activity during the session, SEA staff shared examples of their work using Tableau software and worked collaboratively to examine and refine these graphic representations using principles of practice. Additionally, SECC staff provided the SEA with online resources on designing powerful communication tools for presenting data. Next steps include consulting with the SEA on the design of a presentation for its upcoming MEGA conference to be held in Mobile, Alabama, this July and providing follow-up support to this work session for other SEA staff members.

May

SECC staff planned and prepared for an on-site work session on data visualization for ALSDE’s research and development staff. The visit is scheduled for June 22 and will include best practices and principles for developing impactful visual presentations of data findings related to student achievement. SEA staff will use this knowledge and skills to support their communication of the evaluation of Plan 2020, Alabama’s strategic education plan.

April

SECC staff met with the ALSDE research and development team in early April. This work session took the form of a consultation in which SEA members were able to ask questions regarding approaches to regression analyses, effect size, and effective practices for data visualization and communication. SEA staff were interested in looking at new variables to predict the graduation rate and were ready to begin applying these skills to new analyses using college and career readiness as an outcome variable. Next steps involve a second SECC onsite visit in early summer to provide technical assistance on data visualization and communication.

March

In March,SECC staff worked on plans for an upcoming meeting with ALSDE staff slated for April 1, where the focus will be on learning about effect size, data visualization, and regression modeling and application. To prepare, SECC staff members corresponded with SEA staff via emails and brief phone calls to ensure that they were providing the appropriate support needed.

February

SECC and ALSDE staff held a conference call on February 20 to discuss updates on data analyses the state has conducted after engaging in training sessions with SECC. State staff members were able to dive deeper into data analyses using the data primer, a manual being developed in tandem with each training session. In addition, they expressed interest in learning more about presenting data using visualization tools as well as calculating effect size to render prediction analysis more meaningful. Toward that end, next steps include two on-site work sessions in April.

January

SECC and ALSDE research and development staff met to discuss needs related to data visualization practices. State department staff expressed interest in learning how to enhance their presentation of data using powerful visualization tools and techniques. SECC staff have continued work on the data use primer.

2014

December

SECC staff facilitated a conference call with ALSDE Research and Development staff to discuss steps needed to complete a regression analysis on the graduation rate. As such, SECC staff described the process they used to clean the data sets before running analyses. For next steps, ALSDE staff will run the regression analysis and report their findings to SECC for feedback and consultation. In early January, team members will meet to discuss data visualization and reporting.

November

SECC staff facilitated a two-day data analysis work session that provided ALSDE research and development staff the opportunity to clean and format data so that a regression analysis could be run using SPSS. Staff were able to merge data sets in SPSS, run the analysis, and interpret output. Next steps include working on a second analysis in December with newly available data sets and learning how to meaningfully communicate results to a variety of audiences.

October

This month, SECC staff developed a plan for the next data analysis work session scheduled for this fall. Project staff from ALSDE and SECC determined which data sets would be appropriate and available for completing statistical analyses focused on ninth grade retention and the graduation rate. With available data sets, SECC staff began designing practice activities for the upcoming work session in November.

September

Project staff from ALSDE and SECC scheduled the second work session on 9th grade retention data analysis for mid-fall. September activities also included the Year 3 Work Plan meeting, wherein team members discussed current and future projects. An outcome from this meeting included making the Plan 2020 Indicators project a priority, with plans to expand the work to include the Innovation Zone program. This program gives school systems greater flexibility and autonomy to meet the needs of diverse student populations through innovative approaches.

August

Following numerous conversations, SECC and ALSDE had a planning conference call with all staff to focus the next steps of work. We examined multiple indicators for 9th grade dropout rates to assess availability and usefulness. The SECC staff further examined the indicators to determine if some may be more useful than others and began planning for the next on-site data workday at ALSDE. Additionally, as SECC staff continue to write the data-use primer, we are also looking for an appropriate venue (either written or presentation) in which ALSDE and SECC could jointly share the work with others.

July

SEDL and ALSDE have had multiple communications to discuss how to prepare data for the next phase of work focusing on 9th grade dropout rates (the prior phase focused on graduation rates). The team has continued discussion on what leading indicators might be available from extant data and how to best analyze these data.

June

SEDL and ALSDE staff met in person over the course of 2 days to continue our work on using data to examine Plan 2020 leading indicators and schools that are “Bright Spots” (high performers on the indicators). SEDL staff had prepared a series of data analysis exemplars and supported ALSDE staff as they analyzed similar data. Extensive conversations on interpretation, limitations and presentations of data began at this meeting. The conversation will continue in July with ALSDE staff developing their own exemplar using a different outcome measure, and SEDL staff will support the work as the models are developed.

May

SECC staff, through emails and phone calls, have worked with ALSDE staff to establish the requirements for the second data pull. These data will be analyzed in June, with both staffs modeling the analysis process separately and then coming together to compare notes on how the process went. Additional issues and concerns will be addressed and added to the primer.

April

Following the work in March, SECC staff finalized the data analysis process and shared preliminary results with ALSDE’s research staff. A number of additional considerations were raised, so additional variables will be added to the model. SECC staff continue to develop a primer for use with staff, and a summer summit to discuss the analysis and provide additional guidance is being planned.

March

SECC staff met with ALSDE’s research staff for two days to begin the process of developing a “how-to” primer for predictive data analysis that could be used to examine Plan 2020 leading indicators. A preliminary analysis of the publicly available data by SECC staff was undertaken to serve as a model and the primer is being written. Immediate next steps include presenting the procedures to ALSDE staff, modeling the work, and meeting again to go step-by-step through the process.

February

SEDL staff worked with ALSDE's research and development staff to plan and prepare for an upcoming site visit in early March to explore variables and possible data analysis plans for the Plan 2020 leading indicators.

January

The SECC staff have worked on Plan 2020 leading indicators and developed business rules for each. Meetings have been set for early March in which SECC staff will model the analysis for each of these variables. The SECC staff also met with ALSDE staff while attending the Year 2 SECC Advisory Board Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi. Participants discussed how to best use formative data for large strategic plans.

2013

December

Staff from SECC staff shared and discussed the college- and career-readiness (CCRS) survey data analysis with ALSDE Research and Evaluation staff. The pilot survey offered good information that will lead to the development of a large-scale survey to be disseminated to a wider audience this spring. Staff from SECC developed and shared talking points summarizing the survey results for ALSDE staff to provide to its leadership team. They also continued working on Plan 2020 leading indicators to determine possible business rules for each variable, which will be tested with live data in early spring. At that time, an assessment of the usefulness of these variables as leading indicators will be determined.

November

Staff from ALSDE implemented the previously developed survey that sought to examine practitioners’ training and support needs for college and career readiness. The survey was closed on November 25. Staff from SECC have begun data cleaning, and analysis will follow in December. Staff from SECC and ALSDE met in Montgomery to specify the process for Plan 2020 leading indicators. The list of possible variables were examined, and staff decided to focus on four items. SECC staff will be developing specific business rules for each variable, and in early spring, these will be tested with live data. At that time, an assessment on the usefulness of these variables as leading indicators will be determined.

October

The ALSDE staff went live with the previously developed survey that sought to examine practitioners’’ training and support needs for college and career readiness. This survey will close in November, and SECC staff will assist in data analysis at that time. SECC staff have had multiple communications with ALSDE staff on the leading indicators work: (a) the Plan 2020 plan was mapped out in its entirety using available resources and presentations in a rough logic-model to align activities with outcomes; (b) a list of possible variables that could be used as “leading indicators” of the longer-term Plan 2020 outcomes was developed; and (c) a “data element feasibility rubric” was developed by SECC staff that will allow ALSDE staff to rate the usability of potential leading indicators.

September

In September, SECC staff assisted the ALSDE in finalizing items for a survey that will gauge school-level practitioners’ training and support needs around the implementation of college and career readiness curricular changes for the 2013–2014 school year. Next steps are to administer (in October or November) and then compile results from the survey. Additionally, SECC project team members met with ALSDE staff to identify leading indicators that align with Plan 2020 priorities. Codevelopment of these indicators will continue in coming months.

August

In August, SECC project team members assisted the ALSDE in developing items for a survey that will gauge school-level practitioners’ training and support needs around the implementation of college and career readiness curricular changes for the 2013–2014 school year. Over the next several months, SECC will work with the ALSDE to finalize survey items, administer the survey online, and analyze and report on findings from the survey data. SECC staff also began working with the state to identify leading and lagging indicators that will allow the ALSDE to monitor implementation of initiatives designed to address Plan 2020 priorities.

July

In July, SECC project team members participated in a conference call with ALSDE staff to discuss next steps in SECC’s support for Plan 2020 activities. Two activities were identified during this meeting (a) assistance codeveloping items for a survey that will gauge school-level practitioners’ training and support needs around the implementation of college- and career-readiness curricular changes for the 2013–2014 school year, and (b) assistance identifying leading indicators for monitoring implementation of Plan 2020 activities. SECC project staff will be working with the ALSDE to move these activities forward in coming months.

April

In April, SECC and partner staff from RMC Research reviewed and the ALSDE on the “Increasing the Graduation Rate” delivery plan. Next steps in SECC technical assistance are currently being determined via communications between ALSDE and SECC staff.

March

In March, SECC and partner staff from RMC Research began reviewing the “Increasing the Graduation Rate” delivery plan to provide feedback to ALSDE on indicators and data sources outlined in the plan. SECC feedback will be delivered by April 19.