Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

How Do We Know How We’re Doing, and Where Do We Go From Here?

When we want to consider our effectiveness as a school district, we turn more and more to data to provide evidence of successes and challenges. Last October 28th, MHS Principal Marianne Farrell came before the School Committee to present a data dashboard for the high school (agenda and Powerpoint here: http://melrosecityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=1582). The work of Ms. Farrell and her team was not only a way to provide information to the community in a transparent way with respect to student performance, it was also a pilot for the elementary and secondary levels so they could think about how to present their unique information. Elementary level data has now been published, as has significant district data. To find it, you can go to the Melrose Schools website, find “Families” in the toolbar, and select the last item: “District Dashboard,” or you can click here: http://melroseschools.com/administration/district-dashboard/.

Please share this location and/or information with your Melrose friends and colleagues, and think about additional evidence that you think offers a window into district accountability and future needs. Where do you think the district is successful? Where do you think our challenges lie? What other evidence will help inform your opinions? As we head into the budget season, I’ll be looking closely at a wide variety of data and information to assess and form opinions on the Supt.’s Budget Message (presented on 1/6: http://melrosecityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=1680) and on the budget that she will present in late February. What are your questions, comments, and opinions????