Why Student Data Should Be Students’ Data | Edutopia

By Dennis Li

I’m a data geek. I have spreadsheets for almost everything: planning my wedding, comparing car leases, optimizing where I purchase contact lenses, inventorying items when I travel, etc.

Despite my love of data, two years into working as the data integration and reporting administrator at a public school district, I had grown disenchanted with how student data was being used. When I crisscrossed the district to talk to principals and administrators about their student data, I was often met with fear, confusion, and skepticism. On more than one occasion, I had to reassure and console a principal who thought they would lose their job because of one flat or downward sloping line chart.

Source: Why Student Data Should Be Students’ Data | Edutopia

CA Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Meals – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that more than 800,000 California students are now eligible to receive free and reduced priced meals from the state school lunch program through a more streamlined and automated state-level Direct Certification process.

Local education agencies (LEAs) can now use Medi-Cal data included on the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) direct certification reports to certify eligible students. The data exchange between the state departments and the LEAs takes place securely without disclosing a student’s Medicaid status, health information, or specific income data.

This Direct Certification process eliminates the need for families to fill out applications, reduces the administrative tasks of verifying and processing those applications, and identifies eligible students in a more expedient timeline.

Source: CA Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Meals – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)

Districts to use automated process to certify free lunch-eligible students – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

California families with public school students will no longer be saddled with filling out applications to make sure the children are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches.

Instead, local school districts will use Medi-Cal data as a way to certify eligibility, state schools chief Tom Torlakson noted in a press release issued just before the Thanksgiving holiday break.

The automated process, which affects more than 800,000 K-12 students and began after July 1, includes information from California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) in order to streamline the process through “direct certification,” Cynthia Butler, a spokeswoman for Torlakson, wrote in the prepared statement.

Source: Districts to use automated process to certify free lunch-eligible students

High school grad rates a mixed bag for area districts, schools – The Reporter

Not necessarily reflecting statewide trends, Vacaville-area school districts and schools this year appear to be reporting a mixed bag of data about their cohort graduation rate, meaning those students who started high school in 2010-11 and picked up their diplomas in 2014.

The news comes as Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction, reported on Tuesday that California’s cohort graduation rate climbed for the fifth year in a row in 2014, to a record high. The biggest jump occurred among English learners.

In Vacaville Unified, the graduation rate was 83.1 percent, down by more than a percentage point from the previous year for which state data is available.

By school, the numbers were 99 percent at Buckingham Charter High (about the same as in 2012-13); 91.8 percent at Vacaville High (up slightly from the previous year); and 88.3 percent at Will C. Wood, down by more than 2 percentage points from the previous year.

via High school grad rates a mixed bag for area districts, schools.