Committed to making data about school performance and improvement accessible to all, the University at Albany's School of Education in 2004 joined with other agencies and associations to launch Just for the Kids-NY.
Since that time the project has pursued three main goals:
- Inform: Offering a website that enables users to learn how any school in the state is doing on State Assessments and compare that performance with similar schools using a variety of interactive and easy-to-understand charts and graphs.
- Inspire: Learning what higher-performing schools do that distinguishes them from their average-performing peers and making that information available both on the Web and in high quality print resources.
- Improve: Developing tools to support schools wanting to adopt the best practices of the higher-performing schools.
In 2009, Just for the Kids-NY launched Know Your Schools~for NY Kids (NYKids) so as to better achieve all three goals. To date, the project has completed 7 studies and issued reports detailing promising practices in higher-performing schools at the elementary, middle, and high school level as well as in middle school science and in elementary schools whose critical needs students consistently perform well. Our 2013 study identified factors that promote higher than average high school completion among groups of students generally at risk of failing to complete high school. Our 2015-16 study on schools with odds-beating English language learner (ELL) achievement identifies promising practices and processes to support ELLs.