Setting Up Your Data Systems for Successful Performance Analysis

June 2021

By: Annice Weinstein 

This school year has brought a new set of challenges and requirements to charter schools regarding student performance and data analysis. Schools opting to administer local assessments instead of, or in addition to, state tests will still need to disaggregate and report results by student group. This raises the question for charters: Are my testing systems set up to report the results that I need?

Student IDs Are Key

Any student data your school collects can be easily disaggregated by student group if the data includes either the students’ local SIS IDs or their SSIDs. Similarly, you can track growth over time if the results from multiple administrations are linked to the same student IDs. This requires you to be consistent in the set-up of your testing systems. If you are tracking student performance locally, make sure you include the student ID in your data tracking sheets.

If you are using a testing system that requires a roster upload (examples: NWEA, i-Ready, Renaissance Star), it is important to:

  • Decide whether to use the local SIS ID or the SSID as the primary ID and BE CONSISTENT. Use the same student ID for each administration of the test.
  • Stick to a defined process for creating rosters in the testing system, preferably through uploads and not manual entry.
  • If there is the need to manually enter students, make sure to use the selected student ID.

A breakdown in this process will make it very difficult to disaggregate student performance by student group and may result in missing growth data for your school, because the testing system cannot connect the results from two separate administrations to the same set of students.

How can EdTec Help?

EdTec’s data or assessment team can help you determine the best method to maintain consistent IDs in your testing systems. This may involve setting up custom exports from your SIS, having EdTec manage the export/import process at regular intervals, or exploring if Clever is a good integration option for your school.  Each option has its limitations, and it’s important to make a well-informed decision based on your needs.

EdTec can also provide custom data analyses of your assessment results. This includes breakdowns by student groups as well as an analysis of longitudinal progress, if the test was given over multiple administrations. Some examples of assessments EdTec has analyzed are NWEA MAP, i-Ready, Renaissance Star, and the SBAC Interim Comprehensive Assessments (ICAs).

EdTec helps charters prepare their student outcome data for state and authorizer requirements, in addition to stakeholder engagement.

EdTec also offers affordable licenses to Otus, a data, assessment, and learning management system. Maintaining student performance data in a system like Otus allows your staff, students, and parents to see student growth over time across multiple measures. It also provides a single repository for all performance data that can be disaggregated by student group and used for longitudinal analysis.

Using an assessment and learning management system such as Otus can help to streamline the data collection and reporting process.

Using an assessment and learning management system such as Otus can help to streamline the data collection and reporting process.

For further questions, please contact us at

Otus logo and images are the property of Otus, LLC and reproduced with permission.d engaging for all students. For example, they hosted a cooking activity where students could participate either in-person or online.

Ongoing Performance Monitoring to Drive Gains in Student Achievement

By Annice Weinstein, Senior Manager, Assessment Data & Analysis

November 2020 

EdTec’s charter school data and assessment experts support school leaders in developing plans to monitor progress on identified measurable outcomes, and schools that follow a defined process have shown considerable gains in student performance.  

Amid all the uncertainty and unexpected changes this school year, it is important not to lose sight of your charter goals for academic achievement and student success, particularly given the current political climate. With some forward planning, you can keep your school on target by defining your measurable outcomes, monitoring progress, and regularly sharing results with your school community throughout the year to reinforce common goals.

Identify Key Measurable Outcomes 

The first step is to identify the primary measurable outcomes for your school. This should include key statewide accountability measures such as state tests, English learner progress, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, and graduation rates. For academic achievement, consider including measures that can be evaluated throughout the year as well, such as performance on common benchmarks or normed assessments, or measures of course performance like the percentage of students with passing grades in all core courses. Make sure to include measures that are representative of the unique qualities of your charter. For example, set college application/acceptance rates or post-secondary outcomes as a measure for a college preparatory charter, or student survey results if social-emotional growth and a positive school climate are a focus. And remember to engage your stakeholders – teachers, administrators, parents, students – to determine the best measures of success for your students.

Edtec helps charters prepare their student outcome data for presentation at stakeholder engagement meetings.

Create a Cycle of Data Inquiry 

Once your team has identified the key measures for your school, start to map out your calendar of when the data will be available and your schedule of reviewing progress with your stakeholders. The level of analysis will vary depending on the group but do your best to present the same measures to all stakeholder groups. For example, your teachers may take a deep dive into NWEA MAP performance, overall and by strand, for their whole class, groups of students and individual students. For your parents, it may be sufficient to let them know the MAP subjects tested and how students schoolwide are progressing towards an annual target. The frequency of review will also depend on the data type. Chronic absenteeism could be monitored monthly, grades by semester, benchmark tests after each administration, and graduation rates annually. Determine what measures make sense to share at different points throughout the year.

Define the Data Collection Process 

The most complicated part of the process will be determining how you will collect data on key performance measures in a way that allows for a streamlined analysis. For some measures, it’s a matter of tasking a staff member to extract data from your existing systems on a regular basis, such as downloading a state test data file from its reporting system or aggregating attendance data from your student information system (SIS). For custom measures, it helps to house the data in a single online reporting system, such as Otus or Illuminate DnA. If you plan to collect information from each individual teacher, establish templates for data collection to make it easier to aggregate scores across classes.

Using an assessment and learning management system such as Otus can help to streamline the data collection and reporting process.

Plan for Streamlined Reporting 

Finally, think about how you plan to report the information. For example, if you want to know how many of your students are reading at or above grade level by the end of the year, do not just collect students’ raw scores on their reading assessments. Include a field in your template that translates the raw score to a proficiency score of Below Grade Level, Approaching Grade Level, or At or Above Grade Level, so you can easily see how many students are At or Above Grade Level. If you select NWEA MAP performance, it makes more sense to track progress towards a student’s growth target than it does to track whether the student is on grade level, since the system reports focus more on growth than grade level equivalents.

No matter what measures you select, make sure you can also disaggregate the data by significant student subgroups. This is easier to do if you store the data in a system such as Otus or Illuminate DnA, but this analysis can be done manually as well as long as all the data sources include a unique student identifier, such as the SIS student ID or state student ID. Performance of student subgroups can be a key factor in charter renewal decisions, and many charters excel in supporting historically disadvantaged student groups, so it’s good to stay on top of your progress.

EdTec’s data and assessment experts provide NWEA analysis services, Illuminate DnA implementation and customization support, as well as setup and licensing for the Otus Data, Assessment, and Learning Management solution at a low per-student cost. Additionally, we help charters to plan for stakeholder engagement meetings and to present outcome data to stakeholders, authorizers, and the community. Through EdTec’s new partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse®, we offer the StudentTracker® service to charter schools bundled with our robust, charter-specific data services.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can support your school in these areas, reach out to us at

Otus logo and images are the property of Otus, LLC and reproduced with permission.