On May 18, 2021, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute (the “Institute”) hosted a brief webinar to address the most frequently asked questions about schools’ responsibilities for reporting academic achievement data at the end of the 2020-21 school year. This FAQ document outlines the questions and answers provided during that session. Download a PDF version of the Data Reporting FAQ.
REPORTING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT DATA AT THE END OF THE 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR
New schools serving only students in Kindergarten – 2nd grade should continue to use the Accountability
Plan Progress Report (“APPR”) to report progress toward meeting Accountability Plan goals as required by the Charter Schools Act of 1998 (as amended (the “Act”). The Institute has not required or emphasized reporting of Kindergarten – 2nd grade data for more mature schools serving the full compliment of elementary or Kindergarten – 8th grade. However, the Institute is happy to review additional data, including data from Kindergarten – 2nd grade, if schools deem those data important to providing the fullest, clearest,
and most consistent data picture possible.
While K-2 schools and standalone high schools are not required to report NWEA MAP or i-Ready assessment information, schools that administer the NWEA MAP or i-Ready assessment are encouraged to submit the data sharing consent form to allow test publishers to provide these data to the Institute. Epicenter
submissions with instructions on how to submit the consent form are forthcoming.
As has been the case each year, high schools should continue to report data from AP, IB, and SAT/PSAT
results in aggregate form in the APPR and at the student level in the supplementary data submission each
year. However, schools wishing to report internal data in order to provide the most full, clear, and consistent data possible are welcome to report internal data along with these other data.
The short answer is no. However, schools that do are likely to have an easier time validating the accuracy
of data the Institute uses for its analysis within the framework for analyzing norm-referenced exam results.
The Institute has a method for linking student demographic data to nationally normed assessment data
but, as with any data linking process like this, it introduces an opportunity for some error. That error can be
ameliorated by schools providing demographic data directly to the test publishers.
The Institute worked with test publishers and external experts to develop the measures and set the targets included in the analysis framework to ensure they are reasonable, feasible, and achievable. After collecting this first round of data and performing the inaugural analysis, the Institute is open to adjusting the targets based on the results of the first empirical analysis.
The Institute intends to report its results back to schools systematically although it may take some time for
the Institute to develop the variety of reporting structures to match each different assessment schools will
use as the basis for reporting this year.
As is typically our process, the Institute will collect student level state exam data from the state’s Level 2
portal. While we analyze these data, we also recognize that information about participation rates and the
state’s use of recycled items will affect the interpretation of the results. In that frame, state exam data may
provide important context this year but will not be the primary data source for the annual analysis. While
uncertainty about the interpretation of state exam results remains high, the Institute encourages schools
to choose the assessment that yields the most clarity and consistency in providing the data based evidence
for the school’s academic performance.
Schools should prioritize nationally normed and other assessments in the following order:
- NWEA MAP
- Internally developed
Using the assessment nearest the top of this list is best, but we encourage conversation about ideas and
thinking about other data sources. Schools that wish to use internal assessments should contact the
Institute about if and how we can use those data to create measures for absolute, growth, and gap closing
school academic performance.
Schools should not change plans already in place to shift exams for the 2021-22 school year. During
subsequent years, schools should carefully consider the extent to which the available data will provide a
clear and consistent data story supporting a positive renewal recommendation.
Institute staff members are always happy to connect directly with schools to discuss the extent to which
an analysis, or a set of analyses, provide a rigorous, clear, and consistent data story through the lens of the Institute and the State University of New York Board of Trustees . Please reach out to set up those conversations if necessary.