COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 58
March 18, 2005
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: SchoolMatters: New Educational Data Analysis Tool To Be Launched March 29
The Education Data Partnership will publicly unveil a website with comprehensive public school information on March 29. This new online resource, called SchoolMatters, is designed to assist educators, policymakers, parents, and the public in using data to see how schools are performing and to provide user-friendly tools to analyze the data based on specified indicators. SchoolMatters will be accessible via a link on the Department of Educations homepage at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/.
Utilizing data from a number of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the DOE, SchoolMatters will offer school-, division-, and state-level data such as:
Student proficiency on statewide reading and math tests, broken down by student subgroups and grades
Financial data including per pupil expenditures and revenue sources
Student and community demographics, including income levels, property values, educational attainment levels, and population information
School environment information like class size and teacher-to-pupil ratios
Academic indicators including student retention, promotion, and dropout rates
Additional academic assessment data
In addition, SchoolMatters includes comparison tools and easy-to-use sorting capabilities for in-depth data analysis to assist decision makers in determining ways to improve a school or school divisions performance, while providing data in a format to more easily compare schools with similar demographics. Drop-down menus and pop-ups will offer additional information, such as definitions of terms and explanations of formulas.
To help familiarize users on the many options available on the site, a Learning Center section provides specific tutorials for educators, division administrators, state leaders, and parents.
An overview is attached for your review prior to the availability of the site.
SchoolMatters is the result of a collaboration among the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Standard & Poors School Evaluation Services, Achieve Inc., and the CELT Corporation, and funded by the Broad Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
I hope you will spend time familiarizing yourself with this new site and utilize the available tools for your location.