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K-12 School Districts Deploying Predictive Analytics Software to Boost Student Performance


Meet “No Child Left Behind Act” Requirements

CHICAGO, 08/28/06 — As students head back to school, innovative U.S. school districts are harnessing cutting-edge predictive analytics software to enhance academic performance and meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. SPSS Inc. (NASDAQ: SPSS), a leading worldwide provider of predictive analytics software, today reported that school districts in Illinois, Tennessee, Iowa, New York, Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota and Louisiana are now directly deploying this powerful software or will benefit from the technology.

Naperville(Ill.) School District to Use Predictive Analytics to Evaluate Student Test Performance

Naperville School District203 has selected SPSS predictive analytics software to evaluate student performance on classroom tests, as well as to help design such tests. Results from the assessments will be used to compare and track Naperville students against national testing standards, in compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act[1], and help determine how to improve future student performance. This school district is one of the five largest school systems in Illinois, with nearly 19,000 students in 21 schools.

Dr. Alan Leis, Superintendent of Schools for Naperville Community Unit School District 203, understands the benefits of advanced data analysis. “Education’s charge going forward is to ensure that we design high quality work for each student while stewarding the community’s resources effectively,” Dr. Leis said. “To do this we must first understand each student and the learning the student is ready for, and then ensure that we are helping to move the student forward at an acceptable pace. SPSS predictive analytics technology will be a key to this process"

Predictive Analytics Software Helps Louisiana Schools Better Address Disciplinary Issues

SPSS predictive analytics software is enabling Lafourche Parish Public Schools in southwestern Louisiana to more effectively address students’ disciplinary-related issues. Lafourche Parish Public Schools serves nearly 15,000 students in 30 schools. School officials are using SPSS predictive analytics software to uncover patterns from previous disciplinary-related incidents to ensure that future occurrences that are similar in nature are addressed consistently and appropriately.

“With SPSS’ software, I can dig deep into the data and categorize student behaviors by various actions associated with them,” explained Chris Bowman, Supervisor of Federal Programs at Lafourche Parish Public Schools. “SPSS predictive analytics software is helping us ensure that discipline is applied with more positive results,” said Lafourche Parish Public Schools Superintendent Jo Ann Matthews. “SPSS provides us with an important capability to more effectively serve those students who require special attention and guidance.”

TennesseeSchools Applying Predictive Analytics to Improve Student Test Accuracy

Hamilton County Schools, which serves more than 300,000 residents in Chattanooga, Tenn., and its surrounding areas, is employing SPSS predictive analytics software to significantly improve the accuracy of its student tests. “We’re extremely heavy users of SPSS in the accountability and testing department of our school system,” said Phil Ashworth, Coordinator of Testing Data for Hamilton County Board of Education. Ashworth said the functionality of SPSS software allows him to dig deep into the volumes of student information from each of the 80 schools’ on-site servers, dating back to 1997.

Because of SPSS’ ability to generate the testing reports and analyses in an efficient and timely manner, a previous year’s results can be shared with teachers prior to the start of the next school year. Hamilton County instructors can thus be made aware of their particular students’ strengths and weaknesses and develop individualized curriculum that will be in place on the first day of school, not weeks or months later.

Research Firms & SPSS Will Partner to Accurately Predict Student Performance in Six School Districts

Research firms Analytic Focus and Reveal Technologies will partner with SPSS to use SPSS software to help develop accurate models that can predict student performance in grades K-12 based on current instructional methods used in a school. Six school districts – in New York, Colorado, Minnesota, Alabama and Iowa -- will participate in this program. “SPSS predictive analytics software is integral to our work with the federal Department of Education on a solution to move underperforming students to top-level achievers,” said Lee Ross, Vice President of Reveal Technologies.

Academic Experts Employing SPSS Software to Measure Learning Growth

Learning Point Associates, of Naperville, Ill., and Dr. Yeow Meng Thum of Michigan State University are applying SPSS software to the challenge of measuring growth in learning for individual students.

“The U.S. Department of Education has acknowledged the potential of advanced analytics to complement the No Child Left Behind compliance measurements of the states. Over half the states have indicated their interest in adding such capabilities to their accountability measurements,” said Dr. Thum. “The goal of my work with SPSS is to develop and package proven statistical techniques that will enable school districts to incorporate these advanced analytics into their instructional improvement plans.”

“As students go back to school, educators are moving forward to raise classroom performance with SPSS predictive analytics software,” said SPSS President and CEO Jack Noonan. “We’re very proud that our software is becoming a vital tool for work critical to our nation’s future.”

For more information on SPSS and K-12 education, please visit:

[1]The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires all states to implement accountability systems covering all public schools and students. Those systems must be based on challenging state standards in reading and mathematics, annual testing for students in grades 3-8 and annual statewide progress objectives, ensuring that all groups of students reach proficiency within 12 years.

About SPSS Inc.

SPSS Inc. (NASDAQ: SPSS) is a leading worldwide provider of predictive analytics software and solutions. The company’s predictive analytics technology connects data to effective strategic action by drawing reliable conclusions about current conditions and critical future events. More than 250,000 commercial, academic, and public sector customers rely on SPSS technology to help increase revenue, reduce costs, improve important processes, and detect and prevent fraud. More than 95 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies are SPSS customers. Founded in 1968, SPSS is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. For additional information, please visit


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