Research & Accountability produces a variety of comprehensive reports throughout the 2015-2016 school year on class sizes, assessment results, graduates, program evaluations and many other topics. Presentations at 2015-2016 School Board Meetings are also provided.
This presentation provided a summary of district level results on the Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) taken by Fairbanks North Star Borough School District students during the 2014-2015 school year. Due to the use of a recommended alternate approach to reporting performance by race/ethnicity, an overview of the research on race and ethnicity was discussed. The "two or more races" group has doubled in size over nine years as other racial groups' sizes decrease dramatically (due to students being reported per federal requirements as two or more races and none of the races they've identified).
This presentation provided a more detailed review of the race and ethnicity research investigating the impact of federal reporting requirements for two or more races students. These students are reported as "two or more races" only and not in any of the races they've identified, with the exception of the ethnicity of Hispanic. For example, a student identified as both Alaska Native and American Indian would be reported as "two or more races" and neither Alaska Native nor American Indian. Analysis showed that the two or more races group's size was even larger in 2015-2016 and was expected to increase for several more years. Other race groups reported dramatic decreases due to the federal reporting requirements. As an example, over 55% of Asian/Pacific Islander students are reported as either Hispanic or two or more races. Consequentially, the enrollment and ethnicity report now included two ways to report race and ethnicity - include or exclude Hispanic and/or multi-racial students. Administrative recommendation would be to change the reporting of race and ethnicity when there are no federal reporting requirement involved. The Enrollment and Ethnicity Report is provided below:
This two page report provides information on the race/ethnic breakdowns of our school population. This information is provided by school and district wide. Two ways to report race and ethnicity are provided.
This presentation provided district level results on the Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) and the TerraNova (TN) taken by Fairbanks North Star Borough School District students during the 2014-2015 school year. Performance by attendance and race/ethnicity, gender, economic disadvantage, disability, and english proficiency is provided. A short summary of schools' performance on the Alaska School Performance Index (ASPI) from 13-14 is also referenced.
This presentation provided a detailed review of the Early Warning System (EWS) developed by Dr. Ott. At the beginning of each year, every student districtwide is identified as Low, Medium, or High risk of dropout (color-coded as green, yellow, and red). The information used to determine risk includes attendance rate, Grade Point Average (GPA), assessment scores, suspensions, high school credits (if applicable), and retention within the previous two years. Almost 2/3 of dropouts are High Risk students despite being only 11% of all students. They are 27 times more likely to dropout than a Low risk student and only about 10% graduate. Through statistical analysis (propensity score matching) dropout rates have been shown to be cut in half with the provision of interventions for High risk students. The EWS is argued to level the playing field and is a game changer for reducing district-wide dropout rates (when first implemented with the Graduation Success Program, district-wide dropout rate was the lowest it had been in 20 years). A summary of a survey of staff concerning the EWS was reviewed as well. Also, a longitudinal trend of graduation and dropout rates was provided.
Ellis Ott is a school district representative to the NCES forum for the state of Alaska and presented two sessions on the district's Early Warning System and race and ethnicity data at the NCES Stats-DC Summer 2016 conference.
Session Description: An Early Warning System has been in use in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District in Alaska since 2009-10. Students in grades K-12 are identified as low, medium, and high risk of dropping out using student data. In 2015-16, several presentations were given to local stakeholders such as principals, the school board, and parental advisory committees to build understanding. Using transparency in communication about the Early Warning System will be discussed as well as the future of the program.
Session Description: The collection of information from a student during enrollment includes their race and Hispanic origin where a student may have multiple races identified. Current federal requirements for reporting such as a School or District Report Card and state accountability systems condense the information. For students identified as Hispanic, regardless of any race identified, they are reported as Hispanic. Non-Hispanic students that are identified in multiple races are reported as “Two or More Races”. Thus, for example, a student who is identified as AK Native and Caucasian will be reported as “two or more races” and neither as AK Native, nor as Caucasian. Reports of outcomes for these two or more race students exclude them from any of their race groups. Over the last decade, it has been found that the “two or more races” group has doubled in size/proportion in Fairbanks, Alaska. Subsequently, other race groups, such as AK Native have decreased dramatically in size/proportion. Reporting patterns will be further reviewed in the presentation. Also, differences in outcomes for exclusion versus inclusion of “two or more races” students will be addressed.