When states administer assessments, they want to provide clear, insightful information about student performance to families and educators. Traditionally, assessment reports are often dense and difficult to understand. Tembo has done considerable work re-envisioning how assessment results can be accessible and actionable.
In 2014-2015, several states implemented new next generation assessments. OSSE administered two such assessments for Washington DC’s students: the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test and a new alternate assessment. OSSE saw this as an opportunity to rethink how results are provided to its students and educators. Tembo and OSSE have collaborated to create these reports in 2015-16 and 2014-15.
Individual Student Reports
Tembo worked with OSSE to design and produce over 70,000 student score reports that are designed to be clear, informative, and individualized. Drawing from our own user research and experience, we designed these reports to prioritize three things: (1) relatable, understandable information about how well students are performing, (2) context about the students’ performance over time and relative to peers, and (3) personalized recommendations supporting student progress.
Interactive Web Reports
The DC web report is an interactive portal that allows users to explore results across DC and by local education agency and school. The reports are designed to provide a big picture summary across subjects, and then increasingly further detail by student group, assessment, and grade. OSSE and Tembo have also released a secure portal that provides granular, student-level performance detail for educators and school leaders.
Washington DC’s students received some of the most unique score reports in the country. In particular, the reports were able to provide important context for a student’s score: how well did I do compared to my school, my local education agency, and DC as as whole?
The report also provided a year-to-year comparison, which is exceptional for an assessment transition year. In particular, it is difficult to clearly explain changes in a student’s score between years, and this can be worrisome for families.
Most importantly, the reports have received a positive response from families for their accessible, friendly design. As a testament to the clarity of the score reports, DC families were not alarmed when they received reports that described what their students know, and how they performed, on an assessment that is very different from the previous assessment used by the state.
Sample 2016 student score reports:
Sample 2015 student score reports:
Parents in DC did not have access to comprehensive school performance information defined commonly across traditional public schools and public charter schools.
The first Equity Reports were a multi-agency collaboration between DC Public Schools, the DC Public Charter School Board, the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Education, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. The NewSchools Venture Fund financed the engagement and provided project management support.
Tembo drove the collaboration and led the process of developing common metrics and business rules between sectors and independent government agencies. We crunched complex metrics for first time across sectors (for example, student migration between schools), designed the report’s creative concept, and automated the production of individual school PDF reports and a citywide compendium.
Tembo has now produced several years of DC Equity Reports: school years 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16.
View the 2015-16 DC Equity Reports
The Data Quality Campaign highlighted the equity reports as a bright spot in their analysis of report card and data quality across the country.