Opportunity Mapping

Success in school and in life is influenced not only by academic achievement, but also by a complex web of social factors. OUSD's Opportunity Mapping project tries to untangle that web to show where conditions exist that tend to produce positive outcomes for kids, and where opportunity is lacking and the challenges for students are greater. It is modeled after the Opportunity Mapping project developed at the Kirwan Institute of The Ohio State University (http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu)

By using data to show where children live in relation to schools, health care providers, nutritious food options, recreation areas and good housing stock, Opportunity Mapping can help direct investment and initiatives that improve the quality of life for youth and promote regular attendance, academic progress and social, physical and emotional growth.

The OUSD Opportunity Mapping Project uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to map the distribution of school-based and District-wide traditional and non-traditional indicators of student performance and community health. The 2013 Opportunity Mapping categories include 108 layers of data, as follows: (# layers)

  • School Sites & Enrollment (3)
  • Graduation Rates (4)
  • Academic Performance (22)
  • Attendance (5)
  • Suspensions (9)
  • Food Programs (9)
  • Language (16)
  • Ethnicity (6)
  • Health & Wellness (20)
  • Community (8
  • At-Risk Index (1)

The latest release of the OUSD Opportunity Mapping application includes an At-Risk Index. This index is compiled from a set of experimental OUSD indicators that present challenges to students in and around the District. The OUSD Opportunity Mapping Workgroup is closely exploring the wide range of indicators that might impact students in the District in such a way as to constrain their ability to reach academic and social goals. This first iteration of the At-Risk Index is calculated by computing a standard score (ZScore) of OUSD students per census block group who:

  • score below basic or well below basic on the CST/ELA exam;
  • are chronically absent (missing 10% or more enrolled days in the school year);
  • have been suspended at least once;
  • do not score in the Healthy Fitness Zone on the Physical Fitness Test;
  • are asthmatic;
  • attend a school where 85% or more students qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch;
  • are long term English learners;
  • are emotionally disturbed Special Ed students.

The ZScore is a statistical measurement of a score's relationship to the mean in a group of scores. A Z-score of 0 means the score is the same as the mean. A Z-score can also be positive or negative, indicating whether it is above or below the mean and by how many standard deviations (www.investopedia.com/terms/z/zscore.asp). Each indicator is calculated per census block group, and summed to a composite ZScore, which is mapped to show how these combined risk factors are distributed throughout OUSD.  This map layer provides a base upon which other indicators can be viewed to visualize the relationships between individual factors and the agents of risk.

This latest web map environment, developed using the ArcGIS suite of GIS spatial data processing tools, offers a streamilined user experience to share school and student data to inform a placed-based District decision support system. This latest release includes updates of map categories to include the most recently compiled data for students and schools, as well as change data for each indicator where available to show performance over the latest two years. All data is hosted and maintained in the ArcGIS Online Cloud, and is embedded in a one map, many devices platform that supports a live browser based Javascript API map viewer accessible via desktop, iPad, iPhone and Android devices. Query and filter capabilities, and security controls enabling varying levels of permissions to manage privacy concerns, will be forthcoming in future releases.

Please direct all enquiries, comments and corrections to the OUSD Opportunity Mapping Workgroup at susan.radke@ousd.k12.ca.us.