Ontario statistical neighbours osn collaboration that makes ontario s students winners
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Ontario Statistical Neighbours (OSN): Collaboration that Makes Ontario’s Students Winners. A Presentation by the Ontario Ministry of Education Community Services Cluster (CSC) & The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat (LNS) August 24th, 2010. Impetus for Change.

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Ontario Statistical Neighbours (OSN): Collaboration that Makes Ontario’s Students Winners

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Ontario Statistical Neighbours (OSN): Collaboration that Makes Ontario’s Students Winners

A Presentation by the Ontario Ministry of Education

Community Services Cluster (CSC) &

The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat (LNS)

August 24th, 2010

Impetus for Change

  • Ontario Government committed to success for all students (Reach Every Student:

  • Energizing Ontario Education, Winter 2008):

  • Provincial education system “best in the world and for the world”

  • $19B annual investment

  • Substantially improve literacy and numeracy achievement 2006 - 2010

Impetus for Change

72 school boards/4,000+ elementary schools/approximately 1.4 million students

  • Little data on school performance within the context of the communities they serve

  • Schools face different challenges

Need to support accountability for improvement

What Is OSN?

  • Unique, query-based, innovative education planning tool to support education reform in Ontario

  • Exemplary collaboration model between and among business, technology, data experts, stakeholders

  • Only in Ontario – no other jurisdiction anywhere has a comparable education planning tool

Purpose & Objectives

  • LNS planning tool to:

    • Support the development, monitoring and evaluation of strategies to improve elementary school performance and support decision-making

    • Work collaboratively with school boards

School board planning tool to improve school performance

Schools’ ability to find their “statistical neighbours” so they can link up and learn from each other, by sharing effective practices

The Innovation Itself

  • Innovative, query-based information system

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  • 80 Billion Potential Queries – Simple to Complex

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Analysis, Report Generation In Minutes, Not Days/Weeks


The Innovation Itself

  • Seamlessly integrates key school data: program, demographic, performance, community

“Statistical Neighbours”With OSN

  • Discover schools performing well in challenging circumstances

  • All boards share, can view all Ontario schools/key data

  • Demographics, programs, performance, community

A Paradigm Shift

  • Revolutionizes “statistical neighbours” concept

  • Reflects revolutionary change in nature of decision-making

  • Builds on our quality data

  • Discovers schools performing well in challenging circumstances

  • Multiple queries help answer larger inquiries

  • Provides accountability for improvement

  • Recognizes school/community relationship

  • Innovative way to cross-walk Stats Can data to school data

  • Efficiency/effectiveness improvements

Data Experts

How The Work Was Done

High quality granular student data collected from schools

LNS, CSC*, ESAB** worked collaboratively to develop prototype for testing

2007, rolled out to Ministry of Education

2009, re-engineered in 6 months for school boards

Exemplary Collaboration Model







*Community Services I&IT Cluster

**Education, Statistics and Analysis Branch

Results to Date

  • Since first prototype, sharp drop in number of low performing schools (from 19% to 6%)

  • Allows increasingly differentiated support to boards and schools

  • Assists in building a culture of data informed decision-making across the education sector

  • Rapid responses to decision-maker inquiries

What Others Say About OSN

“State systems everywhere face two problems: getting good quality data on students and schools and putting these data in accessible formats that can be used constructively for policy and operational decisions.  The Statistical Neighbours interface is a remarkable, world-class achievement by LNS, one that places Ontario well ahead of other systems.”

– Professor Allan Luke, University of Queensland, Australia

What Others Say About OSN

“OSN is a powerful, unique and innovative tool combining data, technology and education capacity to inform evidence-based decision-making for school improvement strategies.”

- Carol Campbell, Executive Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

“Permits reviewing of data re a number of schools via a different lens"

“Easily connects information with planning”

– Ontario School Principals

What Others Say About OSN

“While it’s true the Ontario government’s goal is to have 75 per cent of all children meet provincial standards, you have to get there step by step, and helping schools succeed compared with their so-called ‘statistical neighbours’ is one of the very precise first steps.”

– Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto) and Special Advisor to the Premier and the Minister of Education

OSN’s Potential Implications for Other Public Sector Organizations

  • Underscores collaboration on many fronts:

    • LNS/Boards, Boards/Boards, School/School

    • Business/technology/data experts working together

  • Pioneers new type of decision-support tool:

    • Supportive to wide variety of decision-makers, working collaboratively

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”~ Henry Ford

OSN – A Collaborative Success on Every Level and, Especially, for Ontario’s Students!

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