Data & Tech, Human Resources, Teacher Hiring, Uncategorized

Predictive Analytics in K-12: 2 Powerful Methods

By: Amy Vracar, Partnerships Manager

The term ‘predictive analytics’ is gaining popularity, however, many of us still do not know what it actually means. At a high level, predictive analytics encompasses statistical techniques in modeling and data mining to analyze current and historical data to predict future behavior.

Yet, it is important to remember that predictive analytics ismore than just a trend. It can revolutionize the way school districts hire teachers and improve student achievement, and we’ve investigated how districts are using predictive analytics to transform their K-12 environment.

Predictive Analytics in K-12: 2 Powerful Methods

Advantages of Predictive Analytics in HR


Previously, school districts sorted through a stack of resumes and asked scripted questions during the teacher recruitment process. Today, human resource (HR) departments use predictive analytics to improve the quality of hire, because it allows districts to predict which teachers will positively impact student achievement before they enter the classroom.

For example, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) in North Carolina uses the TeacherMatch Educators Professional Inventory (EPI) to recruit, develop, and retain high quality teachers. The TeacherMatch EPI incorporates predictive analytics based on teaching effectiveness at generating student achievement. The EPI identifies four core success indicators for predicting highly effective teachers, which include cognitive ability, attitudinal factors, qualifications and teaching skills.

For CMS, using the TeacherMatch EPI allows them to identify high quality educators and ensure all students have access to excellent teachers and leaders every year, as well as positively boost student achievement.

Additionally, at the recent Council of the Great City Schools annual conference, Dr. Rakeda Leaks, Executive Director of Sourcing & Onboarding at CMS, presented Harnessing the Power of Predictive Analytics with TeacherMatch. Dr. Leaks spoke on how CMS not only benefits from TeacherMatch’s solution, but also benefits from CMS Project Leadership & Investment for Transformation (LIFT). Project LIFT was established as a promise to transform nine schools within their district. Four strategic pillars serve as the foundation for LIFT, including talent, which is the training and retaining excellent principals and effective teachers.

The result: In the 2012-2013 school year, 100 percent of Project LIFT schools met or exceeded growth expectations.

Advantages of Predictive Analytics in the Classroom

Using predictive analytics in the classroom can provide a clear picture of student performance. For instance, school districts can measure quantitative data such as course grades, attendance, course level, suspensions, and extracurricular involvement. Likewise, qualitative data can be measured, which includes classroom observations and non-cognitive variables. Together, the data provides a predictive score for individual students, or a group of students, that can be used by district and school leaders to make informed decisions.

For example, high school graduation rate is a key focus for many K-12 school districts across the U.S. Using predictive analytics, districts can track and understand when and why students are at risk to drop-out by looking at students who are not performing at grade level or students that are not improving steadily through the course of the school year. They can predict which students will struggle and can take action on time to make a positive difference.

Teachers can also use the results of predictive analytics to improve instruction, have informed conversations with parents on their child’s progress, and create personalized learning for every student. Keith Krueger, CEO of Consortium for School Networking, stated “The more feedback we can provide to the students, the better we can individualize learning and move people at their own pace.”

CMS is a leader in using predictive analytics in classroom instruction as well. For instance, CMS has approximately 145,112 students in their district and uses data with both short- and long-term outcomes. CMS analyzes data to help tailor learning to individual students and help students improve at their own pace. According to Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Chief Information and Transformation Office for CMS system, “To individualize learning is really to customize learning for each child so he or she has a unique experience that [suites his or her prices] learning needs.”

The result: CMS had 15 percent increase of student graduates from West Charlotte High School in May 2013 compared to their 2012 high school graduation rate.


Take the Next Step:

America Achieve and Education Counsel have written a proactive piece on the necessity to attract, select, and support top teacher talent. Read the details of their piece in our download, Advancing Top Talent for a Top Profession.

Download Advancing Top Talent for a Top Profession

Amy Vracar
With a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University in Media Communications and English, Amy Vracar began her career in Illinois public libraries and colleges and held positions as a Marketing Assistant at Harper College and Marketing and Public Relations Associate at the Algonquin Area Public Library (APPL). At APPL, Amy successfully developed a three-year marketing plan based on board initiatives and constructed the library’s first style and branding guide. After almost ten years in public libraries, Amy joined Sikich, LLP as a Vertical Marketing Specialist. Amy drove the creation, execution and delivery of integrated marketing campaigns for the firm’s Enterprise Resource Planning Technology Services Division. She oversaw content development for the firm’s key technology markets and collaborated with partners and C-level executives. One of her content pieces was featured nation-wide and received approximately 120 million unique views per month.   Amy joined TeacherMatch in July 2014 to merge her love for education and technology environments, and brings her skills in marketing strategy, as well as developing first class relationships, to the TeacherMatch team.
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