Profiles of New Hampshire schools being made available on the internet should provoke much deeper discussion of what communities are doing in the classroom, state Education Commissioner Nicholas Donohue said.
Test scores, per-pupil spending, and teacher-student ratios are some of the categories on which parents may focus when looking at the profiles, which went online in December.
The profiles, released by the state Department of Education, will give parents, pupils, and others instant access to test scores, enrollments, school spending, dropout rates, and a host of other information. Most of the information already has been available to the public, but not in one place.
Donohue said his hope is that parents look at all the information.
“Test scores are very important. They tell you about a school’s performance,” Donohue said. “However, the best way of making schools better is to look at all the factors. Scores are part of a complicated mixture.”
Franklin Schools Superintendent Christine Tyrie, who got an advance look at her district’s profile, said parents in her community will see in the analysis a need for reducing class size.
Tyrie was part of an advisory committee of educators and community leaders that spent the last year developing criteria for the profiles. She said her district also created its own profile to add to the state one.
“We’re going to use both to make budget decisions,” Tyrie said. “I do believe in data-driven decision-making.”
Computer users will be able to view figures for the last three years. Plans are in the works later to add figures going back five years, officials said.