Evaluate school performance data

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Summary of the Problem:

Right now it is very difficult for parents (and everyone) to evaluate school performance to help choose schools for their children.

Today, parents can only ask parents for references or go to a school and just ask people walking around a school. Only face-to-face info available.

Improving transparency about school performance may help reduce corruption associated with school admissions and operations. Also might help government to convince people about benefits of reorganization of school system and education planning and monitoring.

Also, statistics from teachers and directors do not accurately reflect the real situation at a school. There is no good place to find information about the environment around the school (e.g., safety of area, policy nearby, street lighting, lake for swimming classes), which is never described about a school. But location of the school is very important to parents.

  • Need to see level of the teachers – how well they are trained, what degrees teachers have, performance reviews, teaching methodology/style (how they interact with kids and treat them) used. Where do graduates go? Rankings of schools.
  • Profile of students at the school
  • Standard test results for schools/grades

Summary of the Proposed Solution:

Want complete school profile + school performance (with school comparisons):

  • Website (but need internet access) with something published in printed form
  • On website want to see changes and updates, so can see info over time
  • A mobile version (Frontline SMS?)

Want to know such things as:

  • Which school has more winners of school competitions? System so can see for any school how many school contest winners there are
  • At school reunion, questionnaire about where are you now, what are you doing now?
  • Does the school provide food/meals? And how it works (cost shared by parents, gov pays, free)
  • Availability of medical assistance in school, nearby, etc?
  • What school equipment is present (computers, science equip, labs, sports equip, pools, other facilities)?
  • Does the school offer any special programs or concentrations?
  • Extracurricular activities available through the school (paid and free)

Technology to Solve the Problem:

  • Website that aggregates school data + data about local environment + maps of area showing things in area (hospitals, police station, etc)
  • Parent / student reviews (anonymous … allow people to choose with name or without)
  • And Frontline SMS to get info on mobile to get basic info on school
  • On website can make comparisons

Who will maintain the website?

  • Volunteers (eg, high school students)

Existing solutions or relevant links:

Existing solutions/websites on school profiles and performance:

  • Yelp for Schools (parent, student, teacher reviews) + full school profiles … + very complete map of area resources]
  • RateMyProfessor.com

Data on schools – test scores, students #s, student profiles (from where, etc) [Ministry of Education - edu.gov.md – data.gov.md (some data is here)]

  • Who will moderate this?

Some Univiversities and high schools already publish yearbooks each year about school, graduates, etc. Similar books published by colleges and maybe high schools (like a yearbook, newspapers)

Follow-on Actions:

1) Describe the technical specifications for a platform (web / mobile)

2) Identifying existing tech tools, apps and data sources needed

3) Identify all data sets on data.gov.md and edu.gov.md needed for this website

4) Decide the indicators we care about for school performance (and what is used right now) … Who and how will decide? [Parents]

5) Create a ranking system (1 indicator) using on a set of indicators/scoring of school performance

6) Figure out which and how much resources are needed to design, build, populate with content, and maintain

7) Verify availability of Internet at all schools (and schools need to assign an administrator)

8) Decide who will operate and maintain the website/platform

9) Coordinate with NGOs working in education, Ministry of Ed, district directorates of education, Mayor’s Offices (villages), parent associations

10) Create marketing for website/platform (example: giving card or announcement to parents of every parent when child graduates kindergarten/primary school/etc or when baby is born

11) Decide how to get the technology and financing needed to create this service and website (tenders, donations, NGOs, Gov budget/grants, parents associations)

12) Motivate local authorities and national authorities to accept and contribute to this project

13) When site is working, keep track of comments/feedback … to improve indicators, add services, etc.