DeJong-Richter data imported into public database

Someone was asking some questions of the DeJong-Richter “Futures Conference” survey data, and I decided it would be easiest to answer the questions if the data were in a database. I know, you are rolling your eyes. However, part of my justification stems from the fact that the data has some messy outliers. For instance, one survey responder said they were 65+ years old and a student in Unit 4. Another student said they were associated with both Centennial and Central. Some high school students did not say they were Unit 4 students. So for me, the easiest way to start grouping (and aggregating) the answers is with a database.

For those geeky enough to know what to do with this information:

  • rdbms type: mysql
  • host: mysql.cb-pta.com
  • port: 3306 (default)
  • user: dr_reader
  • password: {try typing in the the username}1
  • database: dejong_data

 

 

Importing the data was more of a pain than I thought – the original has a ton of #REF fields that I eventually just decided to strip out. Which totally threw off the column mapping, so I am providing a simple one:

 

Here are some of the queries I started playing around with (having troubles with wordpress tables again…. *sigh*):

SELECT ba, count(*) FROM `survey` group by ba;
80
1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) 128
1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 3,000 students) 150
2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,300 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) 292
2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) 316
3 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (3 at 1,000 students) 301
Other 58
SELECT a, ba, bq, cj, dm, dl, count(*) FROM `survey`
where (ba = '2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students)' or ba = '1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students)')
-- and (dm = 'X' or dl = 'X') -- high schools
and (bq = 'Under 18' or cj = 'X') -- age or student
group by a, ba, bq, cj, dm, dl;
a ba bq cj dm dl count(*)
Paper: Scanning 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) Under 18 X X 1
Paper: Scanning 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) Under 18 X X 1
Paper: Scanning 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 1
Paper: Scanning 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 X 1
Paper: Scanning 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 X X 1
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) X 1
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) 18 – 29 X X 2
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) 30 – 39 X 1
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) Under 18 10
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) Under 18 X 1
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) Under 18 X 7
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) Under 18 X 27
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) Under 18 X X 20
Web 1 Traditional, Comprehensive High School (1 at 2,600 students) AND 1 Magnet / Thematic High School (1 at 400 students) Under 18 X X X 2
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) 18 – 29 X X 1
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) 18 – 29 X X X 1
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) 65 + X 1
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) 65 + X X 1
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 19
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 X 2
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 X 19
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 X 94
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 X X 7
Web 2 Traditional, Comprehensive High Schools (2 at 1,500 students) Under 18 X X 79

Updates from Stephanie Stuart in regards to Unit 4 and the PE firm

Stephanie Stuart, the Unit 4 Community Relations Coordinator, delivered a bunch of answers and responses to various questions I had. She has given me permission to post the responses “as is” and also to pass along an invitation to contact her with any further questions (stuartst@champaignschools.org or 217-531-0252). As such, I will forward questions from this blog as warranted, but feel free to contact her directly.

 

High School Retentions

First up, I asked about High School retention rates (ie, reclassification) as a follow-up to Meg’s article earlier this month. I asked why there is a special push in the first place when this should be bread & butter for any high school (right?). I pondered how social promotion played into this and what other ramifications are at play. Stephanie responded with:

“I have attached a document that will give you some statistics on the percentage of students who did not advance to the next grade over the past few school years. Admittedly, this is a topic that is quite involved and Dr. Wiegand let me know she’s happy for you to come in and speak with her, and perhaps the executive team, if you would like. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions!”

I am glad the numbers decrease significantly for 10th and 11th grade. I am however extremely concerned about the obvious over-representation of A.A. (African Americans). Something isn’t working out well. What exactly is the issue, and more importantly, how can we Read the rest of this entry »

Learning how to do community (a review of the Futures Conference on Nov 1st)

There are approximately 3,000 high school students in the Champaign Unit 4 School District.  If you were to start your school district from scratch, how would you best divide high school students?

If you had a sandbox, what kind of castle would you build? If you had a copy of SimChampaign, where would you put the schools, the municipalities, the commercial zones?

For me, trying to answer this question represents the challenge of the Futures Conference; it is both the fallacy that this question stands alone, and the social pressure of stating what you really think in front of other people (like that urban or city planner city sitting across the table from you). But let me make a very clear distinction – I think perhaps the most important part is the asking and the answering of the question. Not necessarily what the question is, nor the answer for that matter. “What is your favorite color?”, while possibly eliciting the odd “Blue! No, wait, Red! AAAAAAaaaaaahhhhhhh……”, just does not provoke the same kind of deeply held and possibly unconscious beliefs about “the way things should be.” I will come back to this.

There were a number of good things, and a number of challenge areas at the Futures Conference this afternoon. I’m a “give me the bad news first” kinda guy, so here goes.

Weaknesses

I felt the presentation time was way too long. When I looked at the agenda and saw 70-85 minutes for opening introductions, an overview and the main presentation, I thought I could live with that. But by the time we got to slide 16 (out of 69) I was already wondering how much longer it was going to be. By slide 35 I had checked out. I couldn’t tell you what time it was, but I am pretty sure that we were already close to the soft “time limit”. Have you ever sat in a white church and looked around about 30 minutes into a sermon? People have this glazed-over zombie-like expression. That is exactly what I saw in the room. (I have been to a few black churches and have yet to find any zombies *grin*) I wrote down in my notes that Tracy Richter had some great momentum built up with the first two videos he showed at various points during the presentation (see “Strengths” below), but he killed that momentum. I so badly wanted to just start talking about the videos!

And those charming, sweet cute kids. How can I rip on kids? Don’t worry, I Read the rest of this entry »

Unit 4 posts a weekly newsletter

In the past, Unit 4 put out a district-wide newsletter about once every 2 months or so. It looks like they might be stepping up to once a week now:

http://www.champaignschools.org/news/news_files/2012-09-13_WeeklyNewsletter.pdf

 

In this first issue, Dr. Wiegand emphasizes the need to connect with the community, and how this newsletter is hoping to “open the door even wider”. The bulk of her update deals with facilities; how exploding growth in enrollment is rapidly driving a need for more and better equiped buildings. She recognizes how the community needs to be a part of this process and expresses a desire to be transparent in the process, explaining that this is the root reason they have hired DeJong-Richter (URL to the RFP Proposal included). One of the nice things about the proposal which I missed before is that it includes a rough time-line. Now I only hope they provide a well-maintained dedicated webpage to this project.

 

One of the events listed at the bottom of the newsletter is the Social Justice Committee on Sept 27. Chuck Jackson and I spoke with Dr. Laura Taylor this morning, and we are all very much excited about her plans. She indicated that she will be posting minutes and such, but I hope she is a bit more ambitious and posts her plans, notes and thoughts, etc. 🙂 Dr. Taylor has been busy making personal invitations to various groups and churches and passing out flyers. They are expected a very large turnout. Dr. Taylor also expressed the hope that perhaps satellite groups would host future Social Committee meetings. Along the vein, I spoke with William Jones (co-owner of the Rose & Taylor Barbershop) and he is very interested in hosting a satellite meeting. Keep your eyes open. I am also asking Board Member Ileana Saveley about the possibility of bringing a satellite meeting out to Shadow Wood.

 

PS – Karen, you have raised some points in previous comments. I still intend to get to them, but I am really hoping that Dr. Taylor will respond in one way or another.