Previous Event

MIT School Quality Measures Conference

April 29, 2022
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Eastern

Overview

Bringing together leading researchers, policymakers, and school accountability professionals, we aim to:

  • Foster a robust network of professionals focused on school quality and brainstorm solutions to real-world challenges
  • Strengthen key relationships between Blueprint Labs researchers, district professionals focused on school quality measures, and other ratings organizations
  • And see how districts’ interests and Blueprint’s expertise may align to foster greater collaborations and develop more equitable, data-driven ratings.

Prior to the conference, we highly recommend you read this article written by Brian Gill, one of our speakers, about Covid-19 and accountability. We also ask that you take some time to reflect on your most prominent measures of school quality and any short- or long-term goals you have regarding accountability

Speakers

  • Eric Ashton
    Executive Director for School Performance

    New York City Department of Education

  • Ericka Burns
    Policy Manager

    Denver Public Schools

  • Jon Deane
    CEO

    GreatSchools

  • Brian Gill
    Senior Fellow

    Mathematica

  • Peter Hull
    Peter Hull

    Blueprint Labs

  • Orville Jackson
    Vice President, Data Strategy

    GreatSchools

  • Jenn Kish
    Senior Data Analyst

    Chicago Public Schools

  • Parag Pathak
    Director

    Blueprint Labs

  • Jacob Stern
    Director of Performance Management

    Boston Public Schools

  • Martin West
    Professor and Academic Dean

    Harvard Graduate School of Education

  • Nivan Khosravi
    Principal

    Denver Public Schools

Agenda

April 29, 2022
Breakfast and networkingWelcome remarksIntroductionsConstructing bias-free school quality measuresEquity and School QualityCase study: measuring school quality at Boston Public Schools (BPS) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS)Small group discussionsLunchDeveloping and communicating multiple measures of school qualityMeasuring school quality beyond test scoresInvolving the community in developing school quality Small group discussionsReception
Back to agenda
Breakfast and networking

April 29, 2022

Arrive early to grab breakfast and chat with other attendees. Breakfast will not be streamed via Zoom.

8:00 - 9:00 am Eastern
MIT Building E52-324

Back to agenda
Welcome remarks

April 29, 2022

Parag Pathak, Professor of Economics at MIT and Director at Blueprint Labs will open the conference with welcome remarks.

9:00 - 9:10 am Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

Speakers

Back to agenda
Introductions

April 29, 2022

9:10 - 9:40 am Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

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Constructing bias-free school quality measures

April 29, 2022

How effectively do different measures of school quality capture a school’s causal impact on student achievement? What are the tradeoffs among different measures? In this session, Brown University Assistant Professor Peter Hull will share takeaways from his recent work with Josh Angrist, Parag Pathak, and Chris Walters developing estimates of school quality using the randomness embedded in matching algorithms that assign students to schools. Hull will also discuss his recent study studying the relationship between school ratings, school causal effects, and race. The research presentation will be about 25 minutes and the rest of the time will be dedicated to Q&A.

9:40 - 10:20 am Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

Speakers

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Equity and School Quality

April 29, 2022

How might we use publicly available data to create a rich picture of how well a school serves its students? How can we continue to refine our equity lens based on the evolving research, data, and policy landscape? In this session, Orville Jackson (VP, Data Strategy) and Jon Deane (CEO) from the popular school ratings website GreatSchools.org will present the evolution of their ratings and their process for ensuring an equity lens is applied to ratings. They will lead a conversation about how families, particularly families from traditionally marginalized backgrounds, can use equitable measures of school quality, how new measures may impact school leaders, and what’s next given the limitations of public data.

10:20 am - 10:55 am Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

Speakers

  • Jon Deane
    CEO

    GreatSchools

  • Orville Jackson
    Vice President, Data Strategy

    GreatSchools

Back to agenda
Case study: measuring school quality at Boston Public Schools (BPS) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

April 29, 2022

In this session, BPS and CPS will each present a short overview of their current approach to measuring school quality. This will include the underlying data that feeds into their school quality measure(s) and how each measure is explained and communicated to families. This will set the stage for the conference by sampling various approaches and allowing the two districts to highlight any areas of their measures that they are considering refining.

11:10 am - 11:30 am Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

Speakers

  • Jenn Kish
    Senior Data Analyst

    Chicago Public Schools

  • Jacob Stern
    Director of Performance Management

    Boston Public Schools

Back to agenda
Small group discussions

April 29, 2022

Conference participants will split into small groups to talk through discussion questions and reflect on the morning sessions.

11:30 am - 12:00 pm Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

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Lunch

April 29, 2022

Lunch will be provided for in-person attendees.

12:00 - 12:45 pm Eastern
MIT Building E52-324 or Outside

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Developing and communicating multiple measures of school quality

April 29, 2022

Some school districts and school rating organizations provide multiple measures of school quality. What are the benefits to multiple measures? What are the challenges of having multiple measures that sometimes disagree? How can multiple measures be aggregated and communicated in an understandable fashion? In this session, Eric Ashton, the Executive Director for School Performance at the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), will discuss the NYCDOE’s approach to constructing and communicating multiple measures, including those based on student achievement, surveys of families, students, and teachers, and expert visits. Eric will present for 15 minutes, and there will be 15 minutes for Q&A.

12:45 - 1:15 pm Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

Speakers

  • Eric Ashton
    Executive Director for School Performance

    New York City Department of Education

Back to agenda
Measuring school quality beyond test scores

April 29, 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused most recent test score data to be unavailable or unreliable. Beyond the pandemic, school quality measures that solely rely on test scores may miss a school’s impact on other critical outcomes, incentivize overemphasis on test preparation, and fail to provide diagnostic information to inform school improvement. Brian Gill, a Senior Fellow at Mathematica, and Martin West, a Professor and Dean at Harvard, will jointly lead a session on measuring school quality with non-test-score measures. They will discuss the use of surveys, measuring social-emotional learning, and ratings based on long-term outcomes, such as college-going. Gill and West will each present for 20 minutes. The session will conclude with a 15-minute Q&A.

1:15 - 2:10 pm Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

Speakers

  • Brian Gill
    Senior Fellow

    Mathematica

  • Martin West
    Professor and Academic Dean

    Harvard Graduate School of Education

Back to agenda
Involving the community in developing school quality

April 29, 2022

How can a district or organization best solicit input from the community when refining measures of school quality? In this session, Ericka Burns, a Policy Manager at Denver Public Schools, will discuss takeaways from developing a School Performance Framework Committee. Burns will be joined by Nivan Khosravi, a Principal at Denver Public Schools, who served on the committee. The committee, which consists of teachers, school leaders, parents, central office staff, and advocacy group members, was tasked with evaluating the current system for measuring school quality and recommending changes. Burns will discuss the process of creating the committee and the committee’s recommendations, including a shift towards using ratings for continuous improvement. Khosravi will share reflections and perspectives from serving on the committee. This session will conclude with a Q&A.

2:15 - 2:45 pm
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

Speakers

  • Ericka Burns
    Policy Manager

    Denver Public Schools

  • Nivan Khosravi
    Principal

    Denver Public Schools

Back to agenda
Small group discussions

April 29, 2022

Conference participants will split into small groups to talk through discussion questions and reflect on the full day.

2:45 - 3:00 pm Eastern
Zoom and MIT Building E52-324

Back to agenda
Reception

April 29, 2022

For attendees joining in-person, we welcome you to enjoy a reception on the 6th floor of MIT Building E52 to continue the day's conversation. Refreshments will be served.

3:00 - 4:30 pm Eastern
MIT Building E52-6th Floor

Resources

Presentation Slides