Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Office of Planning and Research

An Overview of DESE Data

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects and compiles a variety of education and administrative data. In addition to these data collections, the Department provides guidance on how to use and interpret the data, data reports, and tools that can display these data in formats that are easy to interpret and understand.


Data Resources

Below is a list of resources to help data users interpret and understand the data that are available from ESE.

  1. Student Growth Percentile
    Description: Growth scores measure change in achievement over time as opposed to grade-level achievement results in any given year. Scores are available for schools, districts, and students taking the standard MCAS test in grades 4-8 and 10 in English language arts and mathematics. This link includes resources on how to interpret and use growth scores.

  2. District Data Team Toolkit
    Description: This toolkit is designed to help district data teams establish, grow, and maintain a culture of inquiry and data use. Specifically, it can assist in the establishment of a District Data Team-a cadre of staff who are collectively responsible for the technical, organizational, and substantive aspects of data use. For example, engaging with this Toolkit can help a district identify and/or refine a focus for improvement, including determining if current improvement efforts are having the desired effect on student learning outcomes.

  3. Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS)
    Description: Information about the new Early Warning Indicator System can be found on the Edwin Analytics webpage at the link above. In addition to the link "Massachusetts Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS)" located on the website above, more resource information on EWIS can be found in the Edwin Analytics Webinar and Reports Overview documents.

  4. Progress and Performance Index (PPI) (formerly AYP)
    Description: The PPI is a performance measure that combines information on up to seven indicators: narrowing proficiency gaps in English language arts, mathematics, and science; growth in English language arts and mathematics; annual dropout rates; and cohort graduation rates. It is a measure of progress toward a group's gap-narrowing goals. Annual PPI indicates progress from one year to the next while Cumulative PPI represents a trend over time. PPI resources can be found under "Explanatory Materials" and "Guidance" on the above website.

Note to Researchers

Researchers interested in working with Massachusetts data should contact OPR for more information.

Last Updated: January 30, 2014
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