In like a lion?
Survey says...

 March - we love trying to figure out this transition month fraught with unpredictable weather. The "in like a lion, out like a lamb" proverb ascribed to March weather patterns dates back to the 16th century. 


For millennia people have craved predictability in the midst of uncertainty. Categories like "lion" and "lamb" that predict outcomes provide a way of thinking and talking about uncertainty. So it is with data use. 


That's why IEBC starts our data use work with clients by asking: "What kind of data user are you?" and lists these five categories: 

  1. I'm terrified - run Bambi run! 
  2. I'm NOT a data person 
  3. Wa-hoo! Data, yum 
  4. I don't care - and neither should anybody else! 
  5. I get the potential, but data doesn't really help me do my job. 

Of course, not everyone will fit neatly into these defined categories, but they start needed conversations and tease out the different perspectives and attitudes people bring to data. This helps get to the next steps: demystifying data, discerning meaning in data and making data useful in educators' jobs. We'd love to know: what kind of data user are you and your colleagues? Please let us know by taking this five-question survey.


In a future op-ed, IEBC CEO Brad Phillips will share the results of the survey and insights into the psychology, neuroscience and organizational habits that affect whether data is useful in helping people do their jobs. 

Texas Trailblazer for Community Colleges Success

Faculty and school leaders from community colleges and school districts in the Texas Gulf region are expanding the work of the data-driven Gulf Coast Partnership for Achieving Student Success (GC PASS) initiative to help students successfully transition from high school to college degree completion. 

The expansion makes the Texas Gulf region a trailblazer among community colleges nationally that are increasingly called on to play a bigger role in increasing the number of students' earning degrees and strengthening the economy. 


IEBC led data collection and analysis, developed web-based tools, facilitated curriculum alignment teams, and oversaw production of the GC PASS guides that align K-12 and higher education sectors in the region. 


By collectively reviewing student performance data, educators observed a gap in college level expectations and the preceding lesson plans covering various facets of English and math. Faculty responded to these disconnects by working with IEBC to produce English and math curriculum alignment guides.

This work is helping K-12 educators and college faculty address the challenges students face in making the transition from high school to college. The results based on other regions' alignment work  will be: decreased need for remediation and increased college-success rates, particularly among underserved students. 
Data Dashboards Help Identify Student Needs 
IEBC rolled out a new performance-monitoring dashboard for the California Academic Partnership Program (CAPP) schools. Dashboards are an excellent match for CAPP, which brings together multiple educational segments to prepare all students for success in college, career and life. 

Data play a key role in forging informed partnerships between higher education and high schools, so that all players are doing what it takes to prepare more California students for college. The new dashboards include several new metrics to help identify students who may need extra support.

IEBC added new metrics, including Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), CA Dream Act financial aid and math progression, after surveying CAPP partners to find out which indicators provide partners with the best information to help students. The dashboards provide access to information in one location that not all partners may have and allows access from anywhere. 

"The new dashboards will jumpstart very important conversations about what students need to succeed and when they need to receive it," IEBC's Jordan Horowitz said. "This will be an important tool in addressing the needs of historically underserved populations in the state."

 Data Workshops for Doers

More colleges are working to become data savvy, because they know data can be a tool for making a real difference in students' lives. But how does a college move to a culture of positive data use? 

One way colleges are beginning to embrace this work lies in training data coaches. 

New workshops developed by IEBC demystify data use and empower faculty and staff to help coach their colleagues to identify patterns and insights in data that guide measurable improvements in student learning, persistence, and degree completion. 


Welcome Dr. Karen Stout

Dr. Karen Stout, longtime president of Pennsylvania's Montgomery County Community College, is now  leading Achieving the Dream Inc

IEBC's president/CEO Brad C. Phillips has been privileged to be a data coach for Achieving the Dream Inc. - a nonprofit dedicated to increasing student access to and success in higher education. 

"Dr. Stout's in-the-trenches experience in higher education will be incredibly valuable to the college completion effort," Phillips said. "At the February DREAM2015 conference there was a distinct shift from big goals to what it takes to reach them."

Winning with Regional Partnerships


According to a new Sacramento State Education Insights Center report, growth of regional education partnerships is creating a stronger, more coherent pipeline from K-12 to higher education and into careers. 


The report features the Linked Learning Initiative, which provide students with career-oriented education pathways and intensive support to succeed. 


With funding from the Irvine Foundation, IEBC is expanding data support work for Linked Learning .  


Data play a big role in responding to students' needs and preparing them well as they progress from education to career. 

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the big opportunities and challenges of data use in education. We would love to learn more about your organization and how we can help. E-mail me at or call us at 760-436-1477. 

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