Monitoring and Evaluation NEWS MN student testing faces big cuts after lawmakers slash budget Listen Story audio Minnesota students will see big changes in the number of statewide exams they take next school year after the Legislature chopped Minnesota's testing budget in half during the special session. Lawmakers repealed several required high school tests and stopped paying for all juniors to take the ACT college entrance exam, something they had ordered in 2013. This was the first year for those payments. They're gone now, too. Two weeks after lawmakers finished their work, the Minnesota Department of Education is still combing through the education bill to see how the changes ordered by the Legislature will affect statewide assessments. The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment GRAD tests in writing, reading and math will end. Gone as well are the Explore, Plan and Compass ACT tests, exams that helped students plan for college or a career. The MCA tests that students take every year in grades three through eight, and in 10th and 11th grades, will remain in place. Rep. State Sen.
Excel Tutorials | Ann K Emery Walk through the analytical process one technique at a time. Newest Tutorials Import and Merge Datasets Learn how to import, export, and merge datasets in Excel by using features such as text to columns, vlookup, and hlookup. Organize Your Spreadsheets When you’re staring at a spreadsheet for hours on end, a little organization can go a long way. Clean Data and Recode Variables Before you can analyze your data, you’ll need to check for missing data and recode some variables. Explore Your Dataset Use exploratory data visualization techniques like color-coding and sparklines find initial patterns. Calculate Summary Statistics (with Formulas) Summarize your data by finding the mean, median, standard deviation, and other descriptive statistics. Calculate Summary Statistics (with Pivot Tables) Pivot tables are the fastest, most accurate way to analyze your data — and they’re easier than you think. Putting It All Together Learn intermediate and advanced spreadsheet skills. Extra Time-Saving Techniques
Evergreen Data - Stephanie Evergreen - DataViz, Excel The Wrong Kind of White Space Long-ish reports are probably never going away entirely, so let’s make them suitable for a digital reading age. In the olden days, when we printed reports, they often had extra blank pages at the front and back. Adding Confidence Intervals to a Dot Plot Evergreen Data Visualization Academy member Dana McGuire recently wrote me to ask about her dot plot. How to Show Ranking Data in Excel Danielle, a member of my Evergreen Data Visualization Academy, submitted a question to our monthly Office Hours webinar about how to show ranking data. Guest Post: Posters – They’re Not Just for Conferences Anymore! SE Note: I almost never make posters but I know they are a hot reporting tool for many of you, so I asked poster veteran Kylie Hutchinson to share her secrets. Where to Start and End Your Y-Axis Scale The Y-Axis Debate is one of the most hotly discussed among cool data nerds, like me and my friends. Guest Post: Visualizing Regression Effectively One Free Pie Chart
Overstretched school counselors would get state relief under new plan Listen Story audio Rosemount High School counselor Chad Terry helps students plan for college, work through emotional crises and pass their classes. Nearly 500 students depend on him. That's more than 100 students higher than the national average for secondary school counselors. Terry said he's overstretched and can't give students all the support they need. A proposal to fund grants for new support staff cleared its first legislative hurdle Thursday. Districts would match state funding for the first four years. Terry told a state Senate education committee the grants could help "close achievement gaps, educate and train students for jobs that are open now and in the future, and continue to work through the complications of an evolving mental health epidemic in our youth." Minnesota has one of the nation's worst student-to-counselor ratios. • More: Money for student counseling takes a back seat The Woodbury Democrat said her plan is designed as a short-term incentive.
Each Little Spark | I am a writer who hasn't yet figured out exactly what I want to say. This is my practice space. Visual Business Intelligence - Stephen Few - Dataviz, viz theory This blog entry was written by Nick Desbarats. As Steve has recently announced, he’s decided to transition away from teaching in the coming months to focus on new projects. After more than 15 years in the field of data visualization and more than 30 in IT, hopefully, we can all find our way to forgiving him for shifting his focus. It seems futile to try to estimate the number of people and organizations that have learned how to understand and communicate their data from Steve, but to say he’s changed the day-to-day practice of data visualization for more people in more ways than anyone else doesn’t strike me as hyperbolic. While anyone who’s attended one of Steve’s workshops will tell you that it was transformative, I was completely bowled over by the public workshop that I attended in Minneapolis in 2013. Shortly after attending that workshop, I approached Steve and rather sheepishly asked if he’d ever considered adding a second instructor to teach his courses. Nick
Student support gets boost in Minnesota's supplemental budget School districts will have an opportunity to hire more social workers, counselors and other student support staff with a $12.1 million grant program included in the Legislature's end-of-session spending plan. Sen. Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, has pushed for the funding for several years. "The House had a much smaller target than the Senate did for education, and the fact that, I think, in the process of compromise that ours is pretty close to intact — I think it sends an important signal about how much this is valued," Kent said. Education experts say support staff can be critical to keeping students at risk of dropping out of school on track for graduation. • Related: Without support, Minnesota students left behind at graduation Dayton has yet to sign the supplemental funding bill that contains the student support money, but indicated several weeks ago that he wanted it included in the plan for spending the state's budget surplus. Sen.
angry chicken Information Is Beautiful - David McCandless - Dataviz, data art The Eurozone? The European Economic Area? The European Free-Trade Area? The European Customs Union? Whaaat? A graphic that hopefully clarifies the complexity the European Union and the UK’s various routes for Brexit. Inspired by this Bloomberg graphic. » See the visualization The Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2017 is now open, celebrating the world’s most excellent information design. To mark our sixth year – and the increasing importance of data visualization & infographics across all media – we’re refreshing & relaunching the Awards. So whichever data-driven artform you choose, your challenge is to illuminate the topic: Arts, Environments, Current Affairs, Corporate, Humanitarian, Science, Sports – and for everything outside the box – Unusual. Thanks to our beloved sponsor Kantar we have a pair of free tickets to our fancy London ceremony for every shortlisted entry & $20,000 in cash for the winners. 30+ expert judges, plus a public visitor vote, make the final call. (more…)
Money for student counseling takes a back seat Listen Story audio Lots of young, enthusiastic people want to be school counselors in Minnesota. Test scores and graduation data show there's plenty of need for the kind of support counselors provide. Without the intervention of counselors and other support staff, students can get off track for graduation, end up dropping out and find themselves with few options for employment. "Kids can't perform as well academically if they've got some social and behavioral issues that aren't taken care of," said Lauren Salonek, a graduate student in Minnesota State University Mankato's counseling program. • Related: Without support, Minnesota students left behind at graduation But compared to schools in other states, Minnesota schools don't hire many people like Salonek. School counselor-to-student ratios nationwide, 2014 MPR News graphic | Source: National Center for Education Statistics via American School Counselor Association He thinks Minnesota has put the issue on a back burner. State Sen.
The Functional Art - Alberto Cairo - Dataviz, data journalism Without support, Minnesota students left behind at graduation When Xavier Simmons walked into class in high school, he'd turn his desk backwards, put his head down and go to sleep. He failed four classes his freshman year. Nobody called him on it, he said — not his mother, not his teachers, not his counselors. He dropped out the next year. "I didn't think of it as a big deal," Simmons said. • More: Xavier's story One might say Simmons, now 27 and lacking a high school diploma, got what he deserved. In the end, Simmons, who is African-American, was free to flounder in a state where students of color have some of the lowest graduation rates in the nation. Students like Simmons get knocked off track for a complex mix of reasons. Abysmal graduation rates for minority students have not only rattled education officials, but are worrying policymakers and civic leaders over the implications for Minnesota's economy. Many schools here and elsewhere have improved their graduation rates in part by following a simple formula of early intervention. So, what gives?