Clayton Intermediate administrators and teachers got a chance to sit down and talk March 18 with not only Smyrna School District officials but with Delaware Department of Education officials to discuss the progress of DDOE's Education Insight system.

The Education Insight system is a project including web-based dashboards that provide educators with access to information on students to help manage academic performance and anticipate issues that could arise.

Representatives from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation were also part of the discussion; some of the technology used in the Education Insight project was developed by the Foundation.

During the discussion, administrators and teachers were able to explain what they like about the dashboards and what they dislike.

Clayton Intermediate Principal David Paltrineri said the dashboards provide really good information as far as marking the performances of the classes and he liked the color coding of the data; however, he doesn't like having a student's disciplinary history in the dashboard.

Lori Fey, director of policy initiatives with the Foundation, asked why and if it's because a student deserves a chance to move on from the incident that brought on the disciplinary action.

Paltrineri said yes and compared what's written on the incident to how an email is read: "It could be interpreted in a different way."

Clayton Intermediate teacher Irene Buscemi said she likes how the dashboard customizes the data, but suggested some colors change because they begin to become blurry. Buscemi also said she'd like an easier way to print out an entire list.

The meeting also included a lot of talk regarding curriculum, state testing, and how the district administrators and teachers make it all work together.

Reese Robinson, Education Insight Project Manager for DDOE, said any issues or concerns can be forwarded to him as the foundation is still trying to figure out what works best with the dashboard.

"Fill my inbox. I may not always get back to you right away, but we want your input," Robinson said.

After the discussion, Clayton Intermediate Associate Principal Deborah Judy said the system is a great tool for the district. The district is just trying to figure the system out since it's new this year.

"We're trying to manipulate it to best serve the district," she said.

What is the project?

The Education Insight system was launched in September, according to a DDOE press release. It is funded with part of the state's $119 million federal Race to the Top grant, and the project includes the web-based dashboards. The dashboard aggregates information from existing sources to show a comprehensive view of each student including biographical information, schedule, attendance, assessment scores and more. The dashboard also provides information on classrooms, schools, and districts. The system is designed to be a "one-stop shop" for student, class, school and district performance information, according to the release.

The interim teacher dashboard has been under development since April 2011. Appoquinimink, Lake Forest, and Woodbridge school district were phased into the program in April 2012 as the state's pilot school districts; these districts helped identify bugs or functionality questions.

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