Delivery of State-provided Predictive Analytics to Schools: Wisconsin’s DEWS and the Proposed EWIMS

WCER Working Paper No. 2016-3

Bill Clune and Jared Knowles

July 2016, 15 pp.

ABSTRACT: Since 2012, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has maintained a statewide predictive analytics system providing schools with an early warning in middle grades of students at risk for not completing high school. This paper identifies national models of predictive analytic systems in education, including a focus on the Early Warning Implementation Monitoring System (EWIMS). The paper explores how such policies might succeed in achieving their goals (e.g., dropout prevention and reduction of predictive at-risk behaviors), ways that districts and schools can make the policies more successful, and how states and state agencies like DPI might strengthen their policies, thereby facilitating local success, in light of the strength and weaknesses of predictive analytics as a policy instrument and the requirements of school organization and change.

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keywords: Predictive analytics, early warning systems, policy strength, school organization and change