Communicating Findings

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have embarked on a school reform program to increase community involvement in schools and so raise the educational level of students. The Consortium on Chicago School Research surveyed 550 CPS elementary and high school principals to discover how school principals perceived the status of local involvement. 457 responded.

Each principal was sent an individualized report, in which each of the indicator variables, corresponding to clusters of items on the survey, is pictured. The "Restructuring of School-Community Ties" chart is illustrated here.

               -    :
  According to      : TIES BETWEEN SCHOOL
  Principals   -    : AND COMMUNITY
              # %ile:
               -    :    Strong
            ###     :
               -    :
            ###     :  External mentoring program
               -    :
         ######     :  Adult education program
               -    :*  (Where you are)
      #########  75%:
               -    :  Special staff development
     ##########    M:  Parents in more than PTA
               -    :  Coordinate with community
          #####  25%:
               -    :
            ###     :  Volunteer program
               -    :
            ###     :
               -    :    Weak
              #     :
               -    :
               -    :

Each principal's chart provides four pieces of information: 1. A label at the top describing the contents of the item cluster and what a high score means.

2. A bar graph showing how the 457 principals responded to the item cluster. "M" marks their median response. The 75th and 25th percentile points are indicated.

3. A "Where You Are" * marker indicating the principal's "cluster score". By comparing the location of this * marker to the bar graph the principals can determine their own standings in relation to the other principals in the system.

4. A description of the items making up the cluster arranged in "difficulty order." Items that appear below the "Where You Are" * marker were probably agreed to by the principal. Items above the marker were probably not agreed to. In the example, it is likely that a volunteer program is operating in the principal's school. It is unlikely that there is an external mentoring program.

Luppescu S. & Kirkpatrick K. (1993) Communicating findings. Rasch Measurement Transactions 7:1, p. 275

Communicating findings. Luppescu S, Kirkpatrick K. … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1993, 7:1 p.276

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