Virginia Education Department Launches School Performance Data Portal

The new School Quality Profiles are a comprehensive look at how students at a school, school division and across the state are performing.

by Jane Hammond, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) / November 29, 2016

(TNS) -- If you're seeking pretty much any piece of data about your child's school, a new Virginia Department of Education website has you covered.

The new School Quality Profiles, located at schoolquality.virginia.gov, are a comprehensive look at how students at a school, school division and across the state are performing.

Data about accountability, assessments, enrollment, finance, teacher quality and more are easily available, displayed in pie and bar charts. Some of the data is displayed over the past three school years, while other data compares statistics, like Standards of Learning performance, to all Virginia students.

Student subgroups are listed below each chart. Clicking on 'Students with Disabilities,' for instance, will show how those students performed. Explanations and context, plus the data itself, is also readily available.

The state has been working on the quality profiles since 2015 legislation required the 'school report cards'to be reworked. The report cards present much of the same data, but it is presented in chart form — columns and rows of numbers that lack contextualization. The new profiles, VDOE spokesman Charles Pyle, should be more intuitive to use.

"If you can quickly look at a bar chart where you're seeing performance over three years at the state district and school levels and you can toggle back and forth, that can communicate substance very quickly," Pyle said.

The profiles were first launched on the state website on Oct. 31, after giving school divisions a chance to look over their respective pages to see if there were any kinks.

There are still some things missing in what Pyle called Phase 1 of the profiles. Plans call for the profiles to be more printer friendly, and eventually each chart will be downloadable and embedded for use in presentations and websites.

The state is set to soon unveil a new tool for parents to learn more about their child's school.

The "School Quality Profiles" will replace the "School Performance Report Card," a measure that was first used in 1999. "Report cards" are posted online and include data about each school, school division...

The state is set to soon unveil a new tool for parents to learn more about their child's school.

The "School Quality Profiles" will replace the "School Performance Report Card," a measure that was first used in 1999. "Report cards" are posted online and include data about each school, school division...

"We really encourage everyone to explore the profiles and take advantage of all the different features that allow you to compare the performance of different groups of students with not only other students in the school but also at the district and state levels," Pyle said. "Look for the little question marks under the presentations that provide information that not only explains what you're seeing and provides context but also provides some useful information."

©2016 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.