Celebrating the 2018-2019 K-12 ESSA Accountability Dashboard Release: Showcasing Continued NDUS IR Collaboration with NDDPI


The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI), North Dakota University System (NDUS), and North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) in consultation with Otis Educational Systems, Inc. celebrate the 2018-2019 Insights interactive K-12 public school ESSA accountability dashboard release. This triumph marks another milestone for the unique interagency collaboration.

The latest dashboard release features several enhancements from the first ESSA accountability dashboards published in 2018; including the Choice Ready measure representing the growth in the percentage of graduating seniors possessing skills for success after high school. Striving for a 360-degree view of the K-12 public school student learning experience, results from the latest school year are presented for participation and proficiency on the state assessment, student assessment proficiency growth, graduation rates, and student engagement.

A new school-level “Accountability Pie” visualization under “School Accountability” within the “Dashboards” section showcases school performance on North Dakota’s K-12 public school accountability framework, Elementary / Middle Schools and High Schools attain scores based upon the respective school-level performance indicators. The scores schools earn are divided by the total percentage of the pie allocated for each indicator. The “Room for Improvement” section represents the combined total percentage of each accountable measure in the pie that the school did not attain. This allows schools to identify additional opportunities for improvement.

Another new school-level section titled “School Improvement” at the school-level allows users to see “Strategy Maps” created by schools through the continuous improvement process developed and administered by Cognia (formerly known as AdvancED Measured Progress), progress toward long-term goals for specific student performance measures, and equity measures. School, district, and state-level views include student demographics to facilitate subgroup analysis and grade-level data comparisons. The DATA tab allows users to download data exports for some measures.

Of particular interest to higher education stakeholders, the “Post-Secondary” section of the dashboard showcases an ESSA requirement for representing the percentage of students enrolling in postsecondary programs as derived from National Student Clearinghouse data. Dual Credit and Early Entry enrollment data is also available in this section.

Interactive public dashboard data visualizations promote transparency while conforming with Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA) Act guidelines preventing disclosure of personally identifiable student information. Dashboard visualizations contain a statement within accompanying explanations noting that data elements for fewer than 10 students cannot be displayed to protect student privacy. To further protect student information while reporting student in small demographic populations of more than 10 students, statistical ranges may be utilized to further prevent identification. Ranges are represented visually with diagonal lines or open circles in lightly shaded colors when utilized.

Interest in these public dashboards has grown through increased greater awareness. Parents, community members, educators, policy makers, researchers, and other stakeholders can access these dashboards through any device with an internet connection.

Approved school, district, and state administrators may access unsuppressed student through a private dashboard portal. Enhancements for this accountability release included providing administrators with the opportunity to interface with the student rosters for each applicable accountability measure. Access to roster-level data allows administrators to see which students were counted in the numerator and denominator for accountability measures. During a preliminary review period prior to each public accountability release, administrators are expected to validate their student data and may appeal for corrections. In addition, access to historical student data allows educators to implement appropriate intervention strategies for continuous improvement of student learning.

Similar to the continuous improvement emphasis within North Dakota’s K-12 public school classrooms, staff within the interagency collaboration managing ESSA accountability are continuously exploring ways to enhance dashboard reporting and data utilization for student success. Areas of focus include designing visualizations to meet diverse stakeholder needs, facilitating enhanced training opportunities for school personnel, and providing additional resources that empower educators to more effectively serve student learning needs.

The next ESSA K-12 public school accountability release is scheduled for Fall 2020. Explore the Insights dashboards and learn more about North Dakota’s K-12 public schools!


   Dr. Gregory Carlson is an Institutional Researcher – Special Projects with the North Dakota University System. Working closely with the Department of Public Instruction and Information Technology Department, primary responsibilities include project management, data framing, and ensuring compliance with requirements for statewide K-12 public school Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability reporting through the Insights interactive public dashboards. He assists in addressing accountability data questions from education stakeholders and facilitating use of educational data to facilitate continuous improvement of student learning within North Dakota’s public K-12 schools.