On The Unwind Podcast, two friends and I discuss topics related to tech, games, gadgets, and geek culture each week. Here is a soundbyte where we talk about my first impressions of the Oculus Rift, the upcoming virtual reality headset. I’ve had a couple of weeks to play around with the second iteration of the Development Kit, and Shawn and Josiah have also given it a spin. Check out what we have to say about it.
The following data visualization tracks the 2007 cohort of Hartford high school students following their high school graduation. You can select a high school from the “School” dropdown menu in the upper left corner. “District” shows numbers for all of the schools combined. “Magnet” shows data from just the magnet high schools (Capital, Classical, Pathways, and Sports and Medical), while “Neighborhood” shows data from non-magnet high schools (Bulkeley and Weaver). The “Graduating Class” on the far left shows how many students graduated high school in that cohort. “New to College” represents the number of students who entered into a college tracked by the National School Clearinghouse the following year, while “Not in NSC” shows students who did not enroll in college. Each subsequent year tracks the progress of students:
- “Obtained Degree” – finished a certificate or degree program
- “Retained” – still enrolled in college
- “No Longer Enrolled” – dropped out of college
- “New to College” – entered college for the first time
- “Returned After Stop Out” – students re-enrolled in college after dropping out
- “Not in NSC” – students who never enrolled in College and were not tracked by the National Clearinghouse
From there, the visualization shows how many students total have obtained degrees (“Total Degrees”), are still enrolled “In College” (combining “Retained”, “New to College”, and “Returned After Stop Out”), or are “No Longer Enrolled/Not in NSC” (combining students who dropped out or have never enrolled in college).
The table beneath the chart shows how many students graduated in the Class of 2007, and the number/percent of students that obtained a degree, are still enrolled in college, are no longer enrolled in college, and who were never enrolled after 6 years.
Below is a summary table for each of the schools, the District total, Magnet school total, and Neighborhood school total. This allows us to see what happened to Hartford school students 6 years after they graduated from high schools. Keep in mind that the numbers for magnet schools include both Hartford residents and Suburban residents that attend those schools. Overall, 22.5% (nearly 1 in 4) students that graduated in 2007 went on to obtain a degree by 2013. However, 1 out of 3 students never entered college, and a further 1 in 3 students started college at some point but were no longer enrolled by 2013 and never obtained a degree. 13.3% were still enrolled in college, but had not yet obtained a degree.
|School||Started Class of 2007||Obtained Degree||Still Enrolled||Never in NSC||No Longer Enrolled and Not Graduated|
|Sports and Med||82||26||14||12||30|
These are very troubling statistics. Of the 600 graduates in the Class of 2007, only 215 had obtained a degree or were actively pursuing one in 2013. These numbers look even more dire when looking only at Neighborhood schools. 4 in 10 students graduating from a Neighborhood Hartford High School never enrolled in college, and a further 3 in 10 had enrolled in college but had dropped out by 2013. This leaves only 3 in 10 students who obtained a degree or were still enrolled in college. Numbers were higher for students coming from Magnet high schools, but since the data was not disaggregated, we cannot tell specifically what Hartford residents did from those schools.
The data presented in this visualization leave us with many questions:
- What is preventing so many students who graduate high school from enrolling in college? Is it for financial reasons or lack of access to other resources/college prep programs?
- What is causing so many students to drop out of college? How many students require remedial courses/How well do Hartford High Schools prepare students for college?
- What is happening with these students who do not complete college? What types of jobs are they able to obtain?
- What sets the students who do obtain a degree apart from their peers? Did they have access to different programs/resources?
The other big omission from this data is the number of students who started as freshman in high school for the Class of 2007. It would be interesting to see how many students from each school obtain their high school degree, and then go on to enroll and complete college. A larger analysis also needs to be completed comparing this data to that of peer districts, such as New Haven, Bridgeport, and Waterbury, and to suburban districts in CT.
On The Unwind Podcast, two friends and I discuss topics related to tech, games, gadgets, and geek culture each week. Here is a soundbyte where we talk about the value of art in video games. How important is art when it comes to enjoying a game?
On The Unwind Podcast, two friends and I discuss topics related to tech, games, gadgets, and geek culture each week. Here is a soundbyte where we talk about the newly announced Microsoft Surface 3 and whether it challenge the dominance of the iPad. This is an extension of my post about whether the Surface 3 can replace the iPad in the classroom.
In March, I was invited to participate in a panel on the topic of Turning Public Data into Knowledge at SxSW EDU in Austin, TX. The purpose of the panel was for three Local Education Funds (Achieve Hartford!, Newark Trust for Education, and Jacksonville Public Education Fund) to present on the data tools they designed to provide the public with education related data. As the project lead for SMARTERHartford, I discussed how the project came about, how we leveraged partnerships with community organizations, and how we are using the tool to drive a deeper conversation around data analysis at the Hartford district level. SMARTERHartford provides parents with a mapping tool that allows users to search for what school options are available to them, and provides data tools to compare those school choices, helping them be more informed consumers. You can find the audio from our panel discussion above.
Imagine starting the school year with historical data about each student in your class—even a student just assigned to your class that morning. The data could include the student’s achievement test results, information about what standards he or she has mastered, the student’s teachers in previous grades, absences, discipline referrals, and more—all easily accessible electronically. Data was also shown by social media, we worked with a tool where you can buy tiktok likes and we boost one of our videos to start getting more data on students and school life on behave of the students.
Imagine a diagnostic testing process that automatically records what each of your students already knows or still needs to master to meet all district and state learning standards by the end of the year. This process would not only suggest lessons to assist the students with their learning needs as a whole, but it would also indicate which students need additional, individualized support.
At the school and district levels, imagine knowing the impact of a particular school’s efforts on behalf of students. Imagine knowing where and how you need to strengthen a school’s instructional systems, provide new programs, add new or different professional development activities, offer technical assistance, or allocate resources to achieve the mission of the school and district. Imagine being able to electronically report data required by state and federal agencies at the touch of a key.
Imagine how much smarter educators could work with the help of data tools.
On The Unwind Podcast, two friends and I discuss topics related to tech, games, gadgets, and geek culture each week. Here is a soundbyte we talk about the resurgence of space games, what space games we played growing up, and what we’d like to see as new games are released.
- Oculus Rift First Impressions – The Unwind Soundbyte
- Tracking Hartford Students Through College (Class of 2007)
- What is the Value of Art in Video Games? – The Unwind Soundbyte
- Will the Surface 3 Become the “iPad Killer”? – The Unwind Soundbyte
- Turning Public Data into Public Knowledge – SxSW Panel Audio