Data Into Action DEC 2016

This is an exciting time to be doing data work for Achieve Brown County!  We just finished supporting a round of Outcome Teams with data they needed for their work. Next, we will be supporting the Action Teams with their data needs. 
The transition from Outcome Teams to Action Teams gives us the opportunity to evaluate our own data work.  Did the Outcome Teams get the data they needed?  Was it valid and reliable?  Were there data gaps?  How can we do a better job of flowing data down from our community dashboard to our teams, and from our teams back to our dashboard?  What data should we be sharing with the whole community on our Web site?  And, most important of all, how can we do a better job of using data to get ACTION and IMPACT?
In the next month or two we will be pulling together some new teams of research and evaluation experts from our community to help us answer these questions in a collaborate way.  The new teams will be called Data Teams. If you are passionate about kids and data and would like to be part of this volunteer effort, let me know!  I don’t have visions of sugarplums in my head at night during this holiday season.  Instead, I have visions of a dynamic community of local data geeks who want to use their unique skills and energy to help all kids in Brown County become the best they can be!

Operations and Project Update DEC 2016

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is also occurring within the operational area of Achieve Brown County!
We are wrapping up our Plan work (in the PDSA model – Plan Do Study Act) accomplished within the Outcome Teams.  This work has been compiled into a Recommendation document which captures all the data, research, project work completed and identification of opportunities to pursue within our community.  The Outcome Teams did a great job in succinctly and comprehensively defining these community opportunities using the SMART format (Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Timely).  Our final touch in putting the bow on top is the final editing of the Recommendation.
While you might not be able to peek at your holiday gifts, I’ll give you a peek at what was identified as community opportunities.  The overarching finding was the need to enhance the social emotional and learning community support systems for our youth.  There is A LOT involved with that so stay tuned!
How will Achieve Brown County be ringing in the New Year?  Action Teams are being recruited right now who will be responsible for tackling the Do component of the PDSA cycle.  Operationally, we are finalizing the performance improvement framework and related timelines for the Action Team’s work.

Community Engagement Update DEC 2016

It’s hard to believe that the Community Briefing and Report Out was over a month and a half ago and now the holidays are upon us. 
On November 1st, we had our Community Briefing and Report Out and hope you were one of the many that were able to join us at the event. It took place at the KI Convention Center with about 125 in attendance. 
The presentation began with our Board President, Tim Weyenberg, who gave us an update on the BMO Harris grant and changes to membership on our growing Community Leadership Council. The Champions of each of the Outcome Teams, Nancy Armbrust, Brenda Warren, and Gary Lofquist,  gave an update on what their teams have accomplished to date and what they are passing on to the Action Teams. A very deserved thank you was given to the three Outcome Teams for all the effort they’ve put into the research and recommendations that will be passed on to the Action Teams. We also received an update on the formation of the Action Teams from Cristin Sullivan-Metzler and the recently updated Community Dashboard from Mary Klos. (You can find the updated data on our website then click on Dashboard.) The presentation was concluded by Adam Hardy giving us a look at what we’ve accomplished to date and a forward look to this next year. 
The presentation received many positive comments. Attendees said that it was informative and provided a better understanding of how far we’ve come since the inception of Achieve Brown County. We look forward to what we will be reporting at the next community briefing and are excited at the potential of what 2017 holds for us.

New staff added to the ABC Team

In just a few months the staff at ABC has increased from 4 to 11. Thanks to a grant from the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) program, we’ve been able to bring on four Continuous Improvement Coordinators and two new Researchers to support this complex and exciting work. In addition, our partnership with Brown County United Way has allowed us to support a shared Community Information System manager as we continue to build our civic infrastructure to translate data into informed action. Christine Gill, Community Information System manager,  joined us in June as a shared employee with Brown County United Way.  The first 5 AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) Members joined us this month, with another to follow in August.


Click here to find out more about the whole ABC staff.


Brown County Graduation Sees Increasing Trend

Brown county high school graduation rates have seen an exciting upward trend over the last few years. For the classes that graduated in 2010, the 4-year rate was 84.3%. By the time the classes of 2016 graduated that rate had risen to 90.2%. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, there was an increase of 1.6%. Also notable is the fact that the 2016 Brown County graduation rate, at 90.2%, had surpassed the state rate of 88.7%.


Stay tuned to ABC for the latest news and stats on graduation rates and other important community data.

Community Engagement Update SEP 2017

We’ve had a lot of activity in the organization these past few months. In addition to the new staff, we were able to see things come to fruition that we’ve been working on for more than a year, such as the Districts of Innovation. In the next couple of months we have a few events planned such as Read Like a Champion initiative launch and our annual Community Briefing. 
In partnership with the Green Bay Packers and Mike and Jessica McCarthy, ABC facilitated the Read Like a Champion initiative, which leverages the passion of Packers fans – little and big – to inspire a lifelong love of reading. Using local experts to drive content, the initiative helps parents to better engage children in developmentally appropriate ways around reading and literacy. We will be launching this initiative in October 2017. Look for more information closer to that time.

Action Team One Update

We have started working with all three local healthcare systems, Bellin Health, Prevea, and Aurora. Key community partners are agreeable to changing how all clinics in Brown County assess and triage children with needs, and are working to create better transparency between partners. This will foster follow up with parents when a child is not given an opportunity to come to school prepared.  Below is an example of the type of analysis we are doing to identify system opportunities. 



Consistent Post-Secondary Plans in Brown County

Post-secondary plans of high school seniors in Brown County remained very consistent between the 2009-10 and 2014-15 school years. Across eight survey choices and six years, no variation was ever greater than 5% and most were less than 3%. It is unclear as of now what might account for this fact. However, when viewed by individual demographic this trend does not repeat. Minority students in Brown County often showed more variation year to year. More information on this trend will be provided on this fact as data becomes available.


Stay tuned to ABC for the latest updates on this and other important community data. 


Districts of innovation – Removing Barriers

Working with system partners and state legislators, we and partners from local school districts identified outdated policy and statutory requirements for K-12 districts as a substantial barrier to the innovation and improvement that the Achieve model was founded on. Working closely with our business partners, policy makers, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, we were able to facilitate a new method for granting waivers from unnecessary statutes. This new and novel approach, dubbed the Wisconsin Districts of Innovation, was unveiled jointly by the Department of Public Instruction and Achieve Brown County at Foth in Ledgeview this month.



ELA, Math Trends Shift in Brown County

Recent years have seen a decrease in English Language Arts (ELA) and math scores on state exams. In 2016-17, 35.1% of eighth graders in Brown County scored proficient or above in math, a decrease from 40.1% the previous year. This is down further from 49.6% in 2013-14 and 53.5% in 2010-2011. The state as a whole showed a similar trend, although Brown County scores were almost identical to the state this year after being consistently higher since 2005-06.  


Brown County third graders scoring proficient or above in ELA was also down 42.4% this year from 44.1% in 2015-16. This is a further decrease from 53.6% in 2014-15 after a dramatic increase from 33.4% in 2013-14. As has mostly been the case since at least 2005-06 the state and BC numbers have been quite consistent (42.8% to 42.4% in 2016-17 respectively).


An important note to make is that the state test has changed twice in recent years. The WKCE until 2013-14, it became the Badger exam in 2014-15, before becoming the Forward exam for the last two years. Any decreases may have more to do with how scores are now calculated versus a change in student skill or knowledge. Until more years of Forward Exam data are available it will be difficult to say if this is a continuing trend  and what may be causing it.


Click here for a visualization of 3rd grade ELA data. 

Click here for a visualization of 8th grade math data. 


Stay tuned to ABC for updates on this and other important community data.