From Detection to Perfection: How Data Can Help Uncover the True Challenge

Posted by Jeff WatsonO

January 10, 2018

Understanding the cause of any problem in your district is only half the battle — you must also prove the efficacy of your solution.


Your district’s early warning solution should alert you to potentially negative outcomes before they happen, as well as identify the factors driving those outcomes — after all, that’s why you implemented it. A valuable system should also equip you with the tools you need to develop solutions to those problems, measure their success, and replicate or adjust them for different student subgroups, grade levels, school buildings, districts, and states. It’s those expanded capabilities that turn early warning systems from one-time fixes into sustainable solutions.


Proving Solutions


Let’s consider, for example, one district that began working with Hoonuit to address chronic absenteeism. Using our solution, they identified a root cause of the widespread absences: a large portion of the students who were consistently missing class was doing so because of family obligations like taking care of younger siblings. Absenteeism was especially prevalent in low income families, where it is more common for both parents to work full-time jobs and for whom childcare may be prohibitively expensive.


After identifying the problem, the district was able to design and implement a credit recovery program that allowed these students to take classes at different hours of the school day. After the program had been in place for just one year, the district saw its graduation rates rise by five percent.


The rise in graduation rates was a huge step forward for the district. But I would argue that the organizational learning that occurred was even more important because the district now has increased its capacity. Most districts cannot afford to replicate or expand interventions that are at least not associated with desired outcomes. Resources are too scarce. Investments in technology and the disciplined approach to program evaluation were key factors that helped this district be more effective and efficient.


Good Data = Lasting Impact


The value of a strong analytic platform isn’t that it automatically solves problems for your organization, but that it empowers educators to find new, innovative solutions on the challenges they encounter andcontinue to apply those solutions in the future. The data is just the starting point. The real work lies in reducing the workload caused by solvable problems so that the district can continue to build capacity. Documenting achieved success facilitates organizational effectiveness and long-term efficiency. Hoonuit provides an intuitive, centralized platform where educators efficiently identify patterns and explore root causes. Click here to learn more about how Hoonuit’s Early Warning solution can help your district improve student performance for the long-term.

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