New initiative seeks to improve state education through individual student analysis
Feb. 5, 2018
With a $2.5 million grant from Helios, the ASU-Helios Education Partnership is working on improvements to Arizona’s education system by understanding how each and every student operates.
“It helps across the whole education continuum,” says Paul Luna, president of Helios. “When you look at education and the performance of a student it starts as early as helping to make sure students are getting the right type of early childhood education… We’re able to model exactly how students are doing, and then interject the types of solutions in real time that we think will help students.”
The project will include creating a computational model of Arizona’s education system, providing real-time feedback and identifying bright spots. Arizona State University President Michael Crow describes the system as a decision-making tool that will help make better decisions.
“One of the things we are trying to do is tighten the argument and focus everyone’s attention on one thing which is the success of the student,” says Crow. “It’s not just about money. It’s not just about teachers. It’s not just about family circumstances. It’s about all of these things.”
According to Crow, with research conducted by the university, the key to success in education is to have “great teachers with great principles as leaders with students who want to learn.” From there, the ASU-Helios project will work with districts and individual schools to make adjustments that will help the curriculum reach each and every student.
However, the project isn’t trying to take over how education is dealt with or start declaring new ways to doing things. Luna emphasizes that this is intended to be a collaborative partnership that’s inclusive of all voices because everyone will have a different perspective on how to improve.
When it comes to funding, Luna says he is interested in having real, honest conversations with districts and schools about where the impact of investments into education will be going, what happens when an investment is made and where the most important areas to investment in are.