12. Evaluation Use


Project KIDS is a special performance audit of the Office of the State Auditor that integrates financial, operational, and performance data to improve data-driven decision-making in Utah K-12 public education. Project KIDS follows resources down to the individual student level to understand how K-12 public education dollars are spent. It then analyzes course enrollment and demographic data to identify which students participate in particular classes and programs. Thus, individual resource profiles are created for all Utah students based on their unique course-taking patterns and demographics. Additionally, each student’s spending information is tied to their academic performance. District and charter school administrators are issued more detailed dashboards with privileged access to student-level data for their specific local education agency. By integrating student-level spending and performance, this methodology allows for an exploration of what resource allocations drive high student achievement. It also facilitates bottom-up, not top-down, student spending averages. Project KIDS recognizes that a top-down spending average fails to differentiate between various student needs and consequent spending. Thus, the individual student resource profiles are utilized to build up spending averages for each classroom, school, and local education agency. This framework enables stakeholders and the public to ask deeper questions about equitable and effective spending practices. They can use the school spending map and other analytic resources in weighing spending decisions.

Issue Areas: Education, Equity