Aspire Public Schools announced that its student performance tool, Schoolzilla, will launch as an independent startup. This is the first time a public school system has developed an innovative student performance tool that is launching as an independent entity.

Already, Schoolzilla serves both district and charter clients across 10 states by helping educators collect and visualize data, enabling them to make informed decisions at the classroom, school and district levels. The tool was created and developed at Aspire, a national charter management organization that operates schools in California and Tennessee.

“Schoolzilla is focused on helping people access the key information they need to run great schools and change students’ lives,” said Lynzi Ziegenhagen, founder and CEO of Schoolzilla and Aspire’s former vice president of technology. “More than 500 schools used Schoolzilla last year to customize data for teachers and school leaders and we’re continuing to grow rapidly on a national scale to help strengthen far more schools. From our beginnings at Aspire, we’ve witnessed teachers taking students further with the help of Schoolzilla and are excited to replicate this success by offering our toolset to educators everywhere.”

 


ASPIRE LAUNCHES STUDENT PERFORMANCE TOOL AS INDEPENDENT STARTUP

“Schoolzilla,” Created at Aspire Public Schools, Offers First-of-its-Kind Student Performance Analysis Platform for School Districts

Oakland, CA – Aspire Public Schools announced today that Schoolzilla, an online toolset developed initially by Aspire that empowers teachers, principals and administrators to use data to drive student achievement, has launched as an independent enterprise in order to serve millions of students across the country. Schoolzilla, which operates both as a data warehouse and data visualization tool, enables educators to use student performance data to inform decisions at the classroom, school and district levels.

Aspire’s launch of Schoolzilla as an independent entity marks the first time a public school system has developed and shared an innovative student performance tool with all other school systems. Aspire credits Schoolzilla for its own success in driving gains in student achievement across California.

Schoolzilla provides teachers with crucial student information – including academic strengths, weaknesses and attendance records – and shows where their students are and where they need improvement in order to chart the best instructional course forward. Principals and administrators also use Schoolzilla to see a holistic picture of performance across their school or school system and to make informed decisions, such as improving teacher training or filling curriculum gaps.

“Aspire is driven by its commitment to share successful practices and continue to learn from others,” said James Willcox, CEO of Aspire Public Schools. “The best way to maximize our impact in this case was to unleash Schoolzilla as an independent organization so it could completely focus on providing data tools for school systems, taking what we developed at Aspire even further.”

Schoolzilla was originally developed by Aspire in 2009 with extensive input from teachers and school leaders to enable Aspire teachers to make data-informed decisions in the classroom on a daily basis. In 2011, Schoolzilla’s “Assessment Explorer” – a program specifically designed to analyze state assessment data – was made available to other public schools after three years of internal Aspire use. Clients are now in 10 states, and include proven school systems such as Green Dot Public Schools, Achievement First, Tennessee Achievement School District, Summit Public Schools, High Tech High, Alameda Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District.

“As a large, multi-state school system, Schoolzilla enables us to work collaboratively across schools and states to fulfill our mission of closing the achievement gap,” said Harris Ferrell, chief information officer of Achievement First. “Schoolzilla puts actionable data at the fingertips of our teachers and school leaders enabling them to use the data to drive the instructional and managerial decisions that lead to strong outcomes for more than 7,000 Achievement First students.”

As part of Schoolzilla’s launch, the organization has just released its brand-new CST Explorer. This tool transforms California state test data – the California Standards Test (CST) – into what Aspire teachers have reported to be user-friendly visualizations and sharable reports. Teachers and principals can upload their CST data and then view, share and create customized reports on school and student performance results in just a few minutes.

“Schoolzilla is focused on helping people access the key information they need to run great schools and change students’ lives,” said Lynzi Ziegenhagen, founder and CEO of Schoolzilla and Aspire’s former vice president of technology. “More than 500 schools used Schoolzilla last year to customize data for teachers and school leaders and we’re continuing to grow rapidly on a national scale to help strengthen far more schools. From our beginnings at Aspire, we’ve witnessed teachers taking students further with the help of Schoolzilla and are excited to replicate this success by offering our toolset to educators everywhere.”

The public launch of Schoolzilla as an independent social enterprise is being made possible in part through investments from NewSchools Venture Fund and Serious Change, L.P. Aspire will retain a minority interest in the new enterprise, but will have no involvement in the ongoing operation of Schoolzilla.

About Aspire Public Schools

Aspire Public Schools is a national nonprofit organization that currently operates 34 high- performing, open-enrollment public charter schools serving 12,500 students in underserved communities across California and will open schools in Memphis, Tenn. in fall 2013. Aspire is one of the highest-performing public school systems in California, delivering a rigorous ‘College for Certain’ education to students in grades K-12. Aspire offers a high-quality education throughout California: Los Angeles, Oakland, Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto and East Palo Alto. Visit Aspire Public Schools at www.aspirepublicschools.org.

About Schoolzilla

Launched in 2009 as a special project incubated at Aspire Public Schools, Schoolzilla is an independent, mission-driven organization that empowers data champions, teachers and principals to do more with their data, faster and with more impact on students. The Schoolzilla platform offers a unique web-based data collection, organization and reporting platforms designed to help K-¬12 schools deliver superior student performance analytics. Schoolzilla is quick to set-up, easy to use and accessible to districts of all sizes. For more information, visit www.schoolzilla.org.

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