Data-Driven Policy Making
The Education Working Group has been working with Trenton Public Schools to bring Dr. Debra Ward to Trenton and work with the school district to implement data-drive policy making. Dr. Ward and Rutgers University’s Economic Development and Research Group have worked with Newark Public Schools on the Multiple Pathways to Graduation program, which helps build the the district’s capacity to track, analyze, and instrumentally use data to support the success of its students. Together, they ewill work to develop a profile of the district’s student body, and develop an “at-risk student measure” that considers academic, social, and environmental factors that makes individuals students more likely to drop out. Newark’s public schools can then use this information to focus its resources on those programs that produce the best results. The Education Working Group recommended that such a program be brought to Trenton.
The Education Working Group connected Dr. Ward with the Trenton School Board after she presented to the full Trenton Prevention Policy Board in 2011. Since then, the school board has hired Dr. Ward to implement the Multiple Pathways to Graduation program in Trenton. In December 2012, Dr. Ward presented her progress in Newark and Trenton, to date, to the Trenton Prevention Policy Board. Dr. Ward’s team continues to work closely with the school district to gather, analyze, and disseminate important information and data to improve student performance.