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What we learned about data-driven education

Continual learning and constant curiosity are core tenants at DRW. Understanding how others approach their work, helps us all improve and innovate. This is why we bring in outside speakers every quarter to share their perspectives through our Speaker Series program. Educators and one student from DRW College Prep joined us in our Chicago office to share how their use of data ensures student success.

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As traders and technologists, we use data to inform every decision we make. The same goes for DRW College Prep, where data shapes an individualized approach for each student and motivates students to thrive in high school and beyond.

With a short four years to prepare DRW College Prep students to get to and through college, Superintendent Michael Milkie, Principal Jennifer Reid, and Dean of College Counseling Danielle Mack lean on data to use those years most effectively. This stems from the principles of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, the network of college prep high schools to which DRW College Prep belongs.

From their freshman year, students at DRW College Prep – and all Noble campuses – see and use data aimed at helping them graduate and attend college. The requirements set includes grades, enrichment course participation, standardized test scores, and community service. Mack says things like SAT and ACT scores can help determine where students will excel.

“Once students finish their junior year, my team has the data points for each of them, and we’re able to make some strategic moves in terms of how we counsel them.” Data is used to place students at the colleges where they would be most successful and create individualized student counseling.

Data is tracked not only at individual schools, but also across the Noble Network.

“We share this data completely, so you don’t only see your data, but the data of teachers at other campuses. We then put these teachers together to share best practices, and figure out what we can learn from each other,” says Milkie. Surrounding students with adults who know they can succeed is first and foremost at DRW College Prep, and their data-driven culture helps them do it.

Queen, a senior at DRW College Prep and president of student council, shared how she uses her data dashboard to know where she stands and how to advocate for herself: “I always know my GPA, I know where I need to go, and I know what I need to do. I know if I need to go to office hours and I know if I need to email a teacher to keep up.”

Queen will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall, driven in part by the data that has shaped her high school career.