WASHINGTON—March 19, 2014—The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) was today named the winner of the Data Quality Campaign’s (DQC) 2014 District Data Use Award for establishing a districtwide vision and creating a collaborative culture where educators use data (which include student attendance, demographics, and college-readiness scores) to improve outcomes for Evansville’s students.
“We are pleased to honor the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation for providing its educators and community with the tools, knowledge, and training to build a culture of data use that has propelled student achievement,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, executive director of the Data Quality Campaign.
Under the guidance of Superintendent David Smith and Deputy Superintendent Susan McDowell Riley, the district has promoted effective data use, security, and transparency by creating data dashboards for secure teacher access to student data and using district assessments to gain rich information about student performance.
The district also holds stakeholder summits with school leaders, teachers, and community members to ensure the needs of students are met.
“As we more clearly understand our present performance in key areas, we can ask better questions about the way we deliver instruction to our students,” said McDowell Riley. “When learning communities collaborate to add skillful data analysis to their daily work, student performance is enhanced.”
Several years ago all EVSC schools formed data support teams led by data and achievement coaches, a decision informed by EVSC’s adoption of the Harvard-based DATA WISE approach for supporting student learning and improving schools through teacher data literacy—the skills needed to effectively use data to improve instruction. McDowell Riley collaborated with two local universities on curriculum to train future teachers in how to interpret student data and apply them to their classroom efforts.
Superintendent Smith said, “I wholeheartedly believe in our approach to data,” noting that the state’s accountability measures show that Evansville’s process works. “51 percent of our schools are at the highest grade level or showed improvement. 38 percent of our schools improved by one or more grades. So, clearly, this has been very beneficial to our students.”
Additionally Evansville used the district’s performance management sessions—open forums for school leaders to share how the district is using data and trends identified in student performance—to encourage transparency and accountability in an inquiry-based environment, making meaningful data-based improvements possible.
DQC’s Recognition Program awards policymakers, district leaders, and advocates who have demonstrated a focus on using education data to support families and educators in their efforts to improve student achievement in four categories.
To hear the audio interviews with Superintendent David Smith and Deputy Superintendent Susan McDowell Riley, along with teacher Robin Slaton, please listen below.
Contact: Dakarai Aarons, email@example.com, 202-997-6519
Conversation with Superintendent David Smith and Deputy Superintendent Susan McDowell: