New Visions for Public Schools (New Visions) is an organization focused on system-wide improvement efforts in New York City’s public schools. New Visions is the support organization for 71 district schools citywide as well as the management organization for 10 New Visions Charter High Schools. In the last four years, at the direction of the NYC Department of Education, New Visions has also begun supporting 346 additional schools citywide with their suite of data tools and less direct one-on-one support. With this shift, New Visions data management tools are now used in nearly forty percent of New York City high schools.
The core tool, which our catalytic funding helped create, is the New Visions Data Portal, a comprehensive school management platform built specifically to address the needs of high schools in New York City through the lens of increasing high school graduation. The tool is designed to support schools in making timely and strategic decisions about individual students and in comprehensively monitoring student progress. While there are a number of existing tools that support monitoring of data related to college advising, these tools confront several challenges in effective use.
New Visions selected pilot schools to receive direct coaching to help advisers create standardized, transparent, and scalable approaches to college advising. New Visions is focusing on improving the quality of adviser decision-making and providing more timely feedback about decisions. For example, students with a GPA of 85 or higher should have at least two four-year schools on their college list. If a student with this academic profile does not have two four-year schools, their list is flagged, providing the opportunity to revisit the student’s college list while there is still time to apply to additional schools and offering an opportunity for the adviser to reflect on his or her practice. New Visions plans to strategically expand the pilot over the coming school years, building on insights from work with the current subset of schools.