WISEdata is a multi-vendor, open data collection system that allows school districts, charter schools, and private schools participating in a parental Choice program to submit data to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) from the student information system (SIS) vendor of their choice.
Under the plan approved by the legislature, DPI created the system to address the following:
- Meet all required state and federal reporting mandates. Only data which are state and federal legislatively mandated and required are to be submitted in the system.
- Create value at the school and classroom level by presenting data through the district WISEdash data portal to support instructional decision making.
- Eliminate duplicate data collection tools and processes work by school district, charter school, private school, and department staff.
- Partner with SIS vendors on data collection standards making high-quality data available more easily and frequently.
1. Provide Privacy Protection to Users
The system includes an integrated Access Management System that allows districts flexibility, while maintaining privacy and security in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and Wisconsin statutes. The system provides the right people with the right access to the right data at the right time, while ensuring that districts and schools maintain local control over granting user rights to secure DPI applications.
2. Provide Unique ID Numbers for Students and Staff
The system creates a single, secure, and consistent statewide identification number assignment system to be used for both staff and students that protects and safeguards data. The system consolidates the student unique ID generation system and a new staff unique ID generation into one interface, resulting in efficiencies in support, training, security, and application maintenance while also improving data quality.
3. Replace Outdated Data Collection Software
The department created a data collection system that is adaptable to changing federal and legislative requirements. Instead of collecting specific data through many different software applications and interfaces, the new system involves districts sending required data to the department with one tool. This also saves districts time, as it eliminates the need for them to create specific file exports for specific collections. The project calls for partnering with school districts’ SIS vendors to automate processes and validate data integrity to ensure accuracy. This is critical to ensure the legislatively-required data is of the highest possible quality.
4. Integrate the New Data Collection Systems with the Department’s Data Warehouse
The department integrated the new data collection system with WISEdash, the Wisconsin K-12 data warehouse. This impacts both the secured version of WISEdash (WISEdash for Districts), accessible only to school district staff, and the public version (WISEdash Public Portal).
The WISEdata Vision
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction maintains a comprehensive data management system of data collection and reporting to maximize the efficient collection and use of high quality data to improve the educational success of all Wisconsin students and to meet federal and state reporting requirements. DPI data collection and reporting systems are necessary and useful, protect student privacy, and strive for improved development and maintenance.
- Data Collection
- Protect privacy in all data collections as required by law
- Account for all students
- Only collect data required to meet state or federal reporting mandates, as a condition of receiving funding under a grant program, or that answer critical questions to improve educational success. Data not required by state or federal mandates, including new data requirements created by proposed DPI grant applications, must be approved by the State Superintendent and meet the following criteria:
- Resources--the department has the fiscal and human resources and capacity to collect data and report.
- Maintenance--the department has the capacity to maintain the data collection and reporting over time.
- Reasonable for Districts--the data is collected in a way that districts have the capacity to comply.
- Ensure that data collected is valid (measures what intended to measure), reliable (comparable values in comparable situations across districts and schools), and useful (aligned with WI vision and standards for students, teachers, and school communities).
- Design and modify data collection mechanisms to minimize data collection and reporting burdens on school districts and the department over time. This includes data standardization and efficient vertical and horizontal data transfer. Consolidation of collections should always be considered since it usually, if not always, reduces this burden.
Data Reporting and Presentation
- Protect privacy in all data reporting as required by law.
- Plan for data reporting as part of the data collection planning process. Ensure up front that the department has the fiscal and human resources to not only develop but also update and maintain reports and reporting tools.
- Design reports that present a clear picture of Wisconsin's vision of success. To the extent feasible, align reports with standards for students (Wisconsin model academic standards and standards of the heart), staff (PI-34), and school communities (characteristics of successful schools).
- Design reports that enhance the ability of users to translate reports into action steps towards this vision. Promote the efficient sharing of student data within and across schools over time. Include measures of growth or change and models of success that defy myths.
- Promote investigation of relationships across topics to provide possible explanations for strengths and needs and action steps.
- Create reporting and ad hoc query tools that maximize access, are user-friendly, and facilitate self-service for DPI and local educators, school communities, and the general public. Consolidation and cross-referencing of these tools should always be considered since it usually, if not always, facilitates access and self-service and saves money.
- Connect reporting and query tools with information on data use and interpretation.