Measuring Student Support

The original Goal 2 indicator in the report card was the “percent of children identified with more than 20 Developmental Assets” (as measured by the Search Institute’s Attitudes and Behaviors Survey). The Search Institute’s Developmental Assets framework provides a means to assess the health and well-being of middle and high school age youth. While it is an excellent framework and an important component of the work of many local programs, the indicator that was reported did not fully meet the needs and criteria of the Striving Together Report Card. The results from the Attitudes and Behaviors survey are not designed to measure progress over time and are not intended to measure assets at the individual child level.
As a result, United Way and Strive hosted a series of focus groups with the goal of obtaining community-wide input on what it means to be supported inside and outside of school as well as identify potential outcome indicators that would tell us whether we are progressing toward this goal at a community level.  A number of indicators were identified, but none of them were able to adequately represent the outcomes of the efforts of all who provide supports and services to students and families.  More information about this process can be found in the 2010 Striving Together Report. 

 Despite the inability to identify comprehensive common community-level outcome indicators, we recognize the importance of the many organizations that provide programs and supports for student success. We will encourage providers in their discussion on common language, common tools and common measures. In addition we will focus on and advocate for more consistent ways to track the many supports and services in place for students, more attention to data collection and analysis, and ongoing continuous learning and improvement.    

One of Strive’s focus areas is on building data systems so that organizations have greater ability to track the data they need to improve programs and services. In addition to championing the early childhood database systems that have been built in both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Strive has been working on improving data systems for K-12. The Learning Partner Dashboard is an effort to incorporate academic data and student supports data into one system so that a comprehensive picture of student learning will be available to all stakeholders.   

  In this system, learning partners would be able to upload student-level information about the programs and services they are providing to students. Partners would have access to better data to modify and enhance their programs. In return, the schools would get access to data collected by their partners on such indicators as the frequency and length of visits by students to after-school and out-of-school sites and activities. Teachers, schools and the district can assess the impact of community-based programs on student achievement. This system will also facilitate better communication and collaboration between schools, community partners, students and parents. The expected outcome is that schools, the district and community partners will have much better program data for use in decision making and resource allocation.