Hamilton County Department of Education

Smarter Planet Leadership Series - Video

Published on 27-Sep-2011

Validated on 13 Dec 2013

Customer:
Hamilton County Department of Education

Industry:
Education

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Big Data, Big Data & Analytics, BA - Business Analytics, Business Performance Transformation, Enabling Business Flexibility, Enterprise Modernization, BA - Predictive Analytics, Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet:
Leadership Series, Smarter Education, Smarter Government, Smarter Infrastructure

Spotlight

The signs are clear that Hamilton County’s efforts to improve student performance and reduce the dropout rate are paying off. But to Dr. Kirk Kelly, who has driven the county’s “educational intelligence” initiatives from the beginning, the best is yet to come—and he’s working diligently to get that message out to teachers, students and the community.

How Accomplished:
For Hamilton County, the essence of educational intelligence is insight through granularity. By leveraging analytics & advanced modeling tools, teachers, counselors & administrators have a better understanding of how adverse patterns develop & can now step in earlier to keep students on the right track. That’s one reason the county’s graduation rate increased by 8% last year. The fact that Hamilton County is extending the use of intelligence & predictive analytics to adapt the curriculum & create performance-based incentives for teachers lays the groundwork for more good news in the future.

Leadership:
Leadership is: Taking the message of educational intelligence to the grassroots level Dr. Kirk Kelly recognized that for the culture and practices of educational intelligence to take hold at the grassroots level, strong transitional support was required from the top. To achieve this, Kelly and his team conducted nearly 100 on-site meetings per year with school-level leadership teams to evangelize the value of proactively working to improve student performance.

Lessons Learned:
Identifying is one thing, connecting is another Lead Counselor Hilary Smith recognized the challenge of identifying which students were most at risk. But she also knew firsthand that actually locating and reaching out to them was in many ways an equal challenge. “Since a lot of [at-risk students] are transient—moving or have their phones disconnected—it can be really hard to locate them. I use Facebook to reach out to them because I know that’s where they are.” — Hilary Smith, Lead Counselor, Hamilton County Department of Education

Benefits:
- For Hamilton County, an 8% increase in the graduation rate through the ability of teachers, counselors and staff to intervene with at-risk students before they drop out; - For the Howard School of Academics and Technology, a 200% increase in the graduation rate over the last six years, capped off by a nearly 10 percent increase in the last year; - Increase in test scores due to curriculum and teaching changes enabled by the solution’s metrics; - Ability to deploy teacher performance incentive programs

Video

IBM Smarter Planet Leadership Series

Hamilton County Department of Education
Interviewee: Kirk Kelly, Director of Accountability and Testing
TEXT: SMART IS… raising school graduation rates with data modeling
Chattanooga, Tennessee is the home to the Hamilton County Department of Education
Which oversees K-12 instruction of 42,000 students by 3,000 teachers
Making it the fifth largest district in the state and the region’s largest employer




Video Transcript


IBM Smarter Planet Leadership Series
Hamilton County Department of Education
Interviewee: Kirk Kelly, Director of Accountability and Testing
TEXT: SMART IS… raising school graduation rates with data modeling

Chattanooga, Tennessee is the home to the Hamilton County Department of Education
Which oversees K-12 instruction of 42,000 students by 3,000 teachers
Making it the fifth largest district in the state and the region’s largest employer

Kirk Kelly: Being in education, you’re really in it to help the students. If their results are better, then we’re doing what we really want to do. And that is to make it better for each and every student so they’ll be college and career ready.

But we were really struggling. Our graduation rate was around 70%. We’ve had one high school that has struggled and this high school had a graduating rate of 24%. With all departments of education, you’re going to have a data in different silos - data is everywhere. We needed to have some type of way of being able to provide information, so that
we could make decisions.

And so we started creating student databases. You’ve got elementary test data, you’ve got ACT test data. You’re talking about behavior, you’re talking attendance, and all of those different files can be brought together to give us a complete picture of what’s going on in our schools in our district.

We’re able to provide teachers with a drill down that allows them to look at what the student did in the past, their current status and also to predict the likelihood of what they are going to do on future tests. And what provides us with is an opportunity to intervene and provide additional support that’s tailored to that student based on the predictive analytics.

We are also able to take those analyses, form patterns and see that there are other students that are following in this patterns and try to provide additional help in maybe changing the climate or some of the practices that we have at the school.

You can actually go in and customize an instructional program based on data that will work for that individual school and the staff that they have. Parents can go and meet with their local educators and actually have the data provided that’s unique for their son or daughter that really gives them a good idea as to where they stand in terms of results and also what they need to do as parents to help get them better.

And what it’s done for us is we’ve been able keep more students in school and that’s reduced our dropout rate, increased our graduation rate. We’re expecting, when we do the final report that our graduation rate is going to be up to an 80 %.

The County as a whole has a perception that we’re doing a better job. And so, there is more pride in the educational system from the community standpoint. And providing good data has been a key to that.

What makes IBM so attractive is that we basically have all of the tools that we need in one place. Without software like SPSS, we would not have been able to do it.

You’re talking about the quality of life for human being. So that’s the greatest thing that you can do if you can enhance a human, anybody’s quality of life and that’s what we’re looking to do as educators.

TEXT: The Hamilton County solution is based on:
Software:
IBM SPSS® Modeler
IBM SPSS Statistics

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
SPSS Modeler, SPSS Data Collection Desktop, SPSS Statistics Base, SPSS Text Analytics for Surveys

Resources