Respond-Ability came to us with an elegant and results-focused concept to help schools, educators and educational programs evaluate their impact. Respond-Ability began as a consultancy for at-risk schools in Chicago, with a system (originally built on complex spreadsheets) for measuring progress towards educational mandates and the many initiatives school administrations implement to improve those results.
The problem for Respond-ability’s clients is that while the community of parents, politicians, and other stakeholders in a district rely on a school’s performance, it’s challenging to correlate the policies that teachers and administrators make and the results they get on a regular and ongoing basis, leading to an environment where many policies compete for limited implementation resources. Respond-Ability aimed to be a tool that school districts could use to see the whole picture of effort and outcome.
We took Respond-Ability’s spreadsheet system and made it into a modern and accessible cloud-based application, allowing them to rapidly scale to support dozens of school districts. Developing on Ruby on Rails, our app allows each school to quickly articulate and prioritize their educational goals, and set the outcome and effort metrics they need to evaluate on a weekly basis.
Breakout teams within the school have custom views, and each teacher can log in independently to quickly enter their results for each week, preparing their team for weekly check ins and instant feedback from Respond-Ability’s progress visualization. Weekly measurements are instantly tabulated and given a Green, Yellow, or Red designation, helping the school quickly identify what is working, what is not working, and what is working but is having no effect on their desired outcome. Respond-Ability gives administrators and teachers an on-demand dashboard of their collective efforts and an ability to visualize the efforts that most effectively impact the educational results for their students.
Respond-Ability is currently available for license to educational districts and institutions and we’re developing an implementation guide for any organization that can benefit from measurement and management of effort to improve performance.