"No excuses": Green Bay School Board's new tools for tracking student success

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) The Green Bay School Board wants to know, in real time, what's going on in each school in the district.

The data board members seek ranges from student behavior and achievements to staff satisfaction or stress.

They hope being able to see and analyze the data will help them make immediate changes, if necessary.

While this system is years in the making, it does help answer one of the biggest complaints one school board member received this summer, asking why they didn't take action at Washington Middle School sooner.

We've been following the story for months, after a former teacher resigned, citing rampant incidents of violence, aggression and abuse from some students.

The district added staff, met with parents and teachers and has vowed to better enforce behavioral rules at all schools.

School board trustee and former principal Ed Dorff is focused on the success of students and staff in Green Bay's public schools.

He thinks a new data tracking system is key to ensuring that happens.

"If now we have access to real time information, real time data, there's absolutely no excuse, no excuses," says Dorff. "It's saying to us, alright board members, now you have the tools to do the homework, make sure you're doing your homework."

The school is finalizing the new "data dashboard" and hopes to roll it out this semester.

It will give administrators, teachers, the school board and even the general public varying levels of access to all kinds of data, from enrollment and attendance to academic achievement, student behavior, and even if staff is happy.

"We invest a lot of resources in acquiring good staff, and we don't want to lose good staff. If they're moving next door, we need to find out why," he says.

The same goes for students.

At a data retreat last month, the school board got a look at eight years of open enrollment numbers:

Dorff shared them with us, showing 396 students open-enrolled into the Green Bay Area Public School District last year, compared to 121 in the 2009-2010 school year.

At the same time, 2,025 students open-enrolled out last school year, up more than 1,200 since 2009-2010, when 747 students opened enrolled out.

"Those on the board want to know why, and that's not always the easiest questions to ask," says Dorff.

The new system will allow access to information throughout the year, not just when school ends.

Dorff thinks this will make a big difference in improving communication and helping close gaps in achievement.

"It's going to be very, very useful to us and useful to the public," adds Dorff.