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This paper provides an overview of the data collection, analysis, and reporting system of the British Columbia Ministry of Education, a system that is intended to improve the results obtained by the school system. The background of the system is described, and how it is used to assist in school improvement is outlined. The system's success to date is also evaluated. British Columbia, which has a long history of collecting information from its schools, began to collect basic information about each student in 1989, replacing the former paper-based system of summaries of school information. Case-by-case data collected year after year can be used to provide information about the performance of schools, even if there is little information about the performance of students. School dropout or completion rates can be used to see if programs are successful, and differences between schools and districts can be displayed. The data can be used in various ways to draw inferences about program effectiveness, and it is now becoming possible to do systematic analyses of student performance at earlier grades, making the information more useful in developing policies. The Ministry of Education now has 4 years of data on school completion and considerable data about the performance and progress of Canadian aboriginal students. Some school districts are beginning to use this information for school improvement, and the trends revealed by this data show that significant improvement is occurring in some districts. It is expected that further improvements will result from the introduction of even better evidence of school performance. (SLD)

Descriptors: Data Analysis, Data Collection, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Foreign Countries, Indigenous Populations, Program Evaluation, Research Reports, School Districts

Autor: Anderson, Barry; Postl, Bill


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