Mechanism for comparing and rating school performance and profiles
Summary of the Problem:
Right now it is very difficult and time-consuming for parents (and everyone else) to evaluate school performance and profiles to help choose schools for their children.
Today, only "face-to-face" information is available. Parents can only ask other parents for references or they can visit a school and just ask people walking around the premises. School statistics from teachers and directors often do not accurately reflect the real situation at a school. Information about the environment around a school is also hard to find (e.g., safety of surrounding area, nearest police station or hospital, street lighting, nearby lake for swimming classes, etc), even though school location is very important to parents.
Improving transparency about school performance will help parents select the best schools for their children. It may also help reduce corruption associated with school admissions and operations, and help the Government of Moldova convince people about the benefits of reorganization of school system as well as improve its own educational planning and monitoring.
Summary of the Proposed Solution:
Create a solution that provides a complete school profile + school performance (with school comparisons) available in 3 formats:
- Website (which also shows changes and updates so can see info over time)
- Some version of information in printed form
- A mobile version (Frontline SMS?)
The solution would offer information (and rankings) addressing a variety of areas of interest to parents:
- Level of teachers: what training and degrees they have, performance reviews, teaching style (how they interact with kids and treat them).
- Profile of students at the school
- Standard test results for schools/grades
- Ability of parents, teachers and students to give feedback, comments, ratings of schools
- Schools with most winners of school competitions? Show how many contest winners for each school
- 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?
- School equipment at a school (computers, science labs, sports equip, pools, other facilities)?
- Does school offer any special programs or concentrations?
- Extracurricular activities available through the school (paid and free)
- Where do graduates go? (especially for high schools/universities). Might draw upon questionnaires used at school reunions
Technology to Solve the Problem:
- Website that aggregates school data + data about local environment + maps of area showing important resources in area (hospitals, police station, etc)
- Parent / student reviews (anonymous … allow people to choose with name or without)
- Frontline SMS to get info on mobile to get basic info on school
- On website, enable users to select schools to compare based on chosen criteria
Question to be answered: Who will maintain the website? Volunteers (eg, high school students)? NGO?
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]
Data on schools – test scores, students #s, student profiles, 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)
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.