The WINSS Data Analysis Section offers a Similar Schools/Districts tool to facilitate access to information about high-performing schools and districts with similar demographics and other education-related characteristics. This tool is designed to help school communities find possible sources of ideas to improve student performance on WSAS through the use of any of three reports:
- Top Five Similar Schools/Districts
Both graph and table are possible because this report is limited to the five highest performing schools/districts. Top Five includes schools/districts serving similar or more disadvantaged populations and with similar or fewer resources to provide more possible sources of ideas for improvement. View live sample reports: schools, districts.
- All Similar Schools/Districts that Outperformed My School/District
This report provides a complete list of outperformers. Schools/districts with lower performance are not included. Report includes higher performing schools/districts serving similar or more disadvantaged populations and with similar or fewer resources to provide more possible sources of ideas for improvement.
- All Similar Schools/Districts
This report provides a complete list of schools/districts sorted from highest to lowest performing to show where your school/district stands in relation to all similar schools/districts. Schools/districts with disadvantaged populations above the "similar" range and/or with district spending below the "similar" range are not included because these schools/districts tend to be lower performing. View live sample reports: schools, districts
You can customize your report by selecting the WSAS performance measures of interest and your criteria for defining "similar."
To access the Similar Schools/Districts tool, click on "How did students perform on state tests at grades 3-8 and 10?." Next click on "Change school or district" (circled link in FIGURE 1) to select your school or district, then click on the "Similar Schools/Districts" (circled link in FIGURE 2).
|FIGURE 1. "Change School or District" Link.
||FIGURE 2. "Similar Schools/Districts" Link.
|The "Top Five" report is the default view. Links to the "All Similar Schools/Districts that Outperformed My School/District" and "All Similar Schools/Districts" reports are provided at the bottom of any Similar Schools/Districts page. See first two circled links in FIGURE 3. A sample Top Five report is provided in FIGURE 4. Samples of the other two reports, "All Similar Schools/Districts that Outperformed My School/District" and "All Similar Schools/Districts," are provided in FIGURES 5 and 6.||FIGURE 3. Report Links.
Similar school and district data in each table are sorted by the selected WSAS performance measure. For the "All Similar Schools/Districts" report, your school or district data are sorted with all other similar schools and districts. Note the circled position in table for the selected school in FIGURE 5. The other two reports have a slightly different purpose so your school or district data appear in the top row of the table.
|FIGURE 4. Sample Graph: Top Five Similar Schools.
FIGURE 5: Sample Table of Outperformers
|FIGURE 6. Sample Table of All Similar Schools (Rank Order)
Customizing Your Report
To change report options, click on any link above the graph or table. Options are shown in FIGURE 7.
|FIGURE 7. Report Options
Follow these steps:
- Select WSAS Performance Measure. Schools or districts will be sorted by whatever WSAS performance measure you select in the "Grade," "Subject," and "Sort by" rows near the top of each page.
- Choose location of interest. Click on any link in the "Location" row just above the graph or table. Three options are possible: Entire State, My CESA, My County.
- Define Similar. Click on one or more links in the "Similar Criteria" row to select or deselect a one or more criteria. Schools/districts are considered "similar" if their data regarding a selected criterion (or criteria) fall in the same range. Schools/districts serving similar or more disadvantaged populations with similar or fewer resources are included in the Top Five list and the list of Outperformers to provide more possible sources of ideas for improvement. See TABLE 1 for ranges associated with each of the "Similar Criteria".
TABLE 1. Ranges for Similar Criteria
||Ranges Used in Defining "Similar"
Source: WSAS Data Collection
Source: ISES TFS Collection
Source: PI-1505 Annual Report, PI-1563 Membership Reports
Note: All data used in defining 'similar' are the most current data available. You may select more than one criterion for defining "similar" but clicking on multiple criteria in the "Similar Criteria" row.
Data Downloads and Other Useful Information
Users can download CSV files containing all the data in the graphs and tables plus codes and counts that might be useful in combining data across years, topics, categories or groups. Click on "Download Raw Data from This Page" near the bottom of the page to request a csv file. See third circled link in FIGURE 3 above.
The district and school names in all WINSS data tables are linked to the district and school home pages for more information.
Comments and Cautions:
- No single test can tell us whether students have learned everything that is important for students to learn. Only performances on the statewide tests are used in sorting schools and districts on the Similar Schools/Similar Districts pages.
- Sorting of schools or districts is based on results for "All enrolled FAY" in the school or district. Using percentages based on "All enrolled FAY" accounts for all students in the school or district for the full prior academic year, including students not tested during the three week testing window. This sorting is done without regard to differences in the student populations served whose educational needs are best met using different strategies. DPI recommends the use of "ALL enrolled FAY" data only when comparing districts and schools that are similar. Otherwise disaggregated data will provide a more useful, less misleading comparison of district and school programs.
- DPI recommends comparing dissimilar schools and districts through the use of disaggregated data. Comparing dissimilar districts and schools using "All enrolled FAY" data may lead to the conclusion that district or school programs are ineffective when in fact the reverse may be true or, worse, may mask serious educational concerns affecting specific student populations. Disaggregated data by student group provide more useful information about the relative effectiveness of local educational strategies than data aggregated across all student groups. Nearly all WINSS data pages provide the option to compare disaggregated data across districts or schools by using the "View By," "Selected Schools," and "Selected Districts" options.
- Demographic data were provided by school districts based on standardized definitions and are unaudited.
- Per member spending patterns vary across grades. This fact will affect interpretations of district-level spending differences when comparing elementary only or high school only districts to K-12 districts.
- Current education cost per member is affected by changes in both cost and membership (FTE resident enrollment). A relatively small actual change in membership, particularly in a smaller district, can result in a significant cost per member change.
For more information:
- Tips for Using WINSS to Find Test Results for Your School
- Using WSAS Scatterplots on WINSS
- Comparing districts or schools within a county, athletic conference, or CESA
- Understanding the WKCE Proficiency Data
- Knowledge and Concepts Examinations Home Page
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Data Analysis Section
- Tips for First Time Users of the Data Analysis Section
- Using Disaggregated Data to Compare State Test Performances of Districts with Dissimilar LEP Populations
We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions about WINSS.