Statistics, proportions, figures and visuals… we come across them on a daily basis. From data on how the economy is doing to political polls, they seem to be all around us! We are undeniably living in the era of data-ization. Although some data analyses could be passed as irrelevant or of little importance, when it comes to understanding and measuring student performance over time, targeting instruction and closing achievement gaps, data can be an excellent tool to have!

In my current role as data scientist for HCSC, when it comes to understanding and measuring student performance, it’s not sufficient to simply present scores on a spreadsheet. It is critical to also ask how that particular student, class and school performed throughout the school year as well, and quantify movement from term to term. Identifying, through descriptive statistics, that a student’s performance is dwindling or that they are not meeting expectations allows for proactive measures to help students improve performance. I like to think of data and assessment statistics like a thermometer. A thermometer won’t tell you that you have a fever; it will only tell you what your temperature is at that point in time. In order to properly diagnose and remedy, you have to continue to ask questions and find solutions until you have what you need to fix the problem.

What is most useful about being able to apply data analytics to primary education is in helping to close the achievement gap. Ensuring that all children are exceeding expectations is an excellent goal to have, but it’s also great to be able to provide additional guidance to students who require it. Having the proper mechanism to identify those students and initiate conversations with schools is part of my contribution to those efforts to help students succeed.

Carl M. Letamendi, PhD, MBA, Data Scientist


For Immediate Release

Atlanta’s First Hebrew-English Charter School Being Explored
New Public School Would Be Part of National Dual-Language Network

October, 2015 – The Hebrew Charter School Center (HCSC), a national organization that to date has helped launch nine free, dual-language public charter schools around the country, is seeking community involvement to help open such a school in Midtown Atlanta’s Grady High School cluster.  The area covers neighborhoods such as Ansley Park, Atlantic Station, Virginia Highlands, Midtown, Morningside/Lenox Park, and Georgia Tech.

“Atlanta’s diverse population, vibrant communities, and historical significance in America make it an ideal location for a Hebrew charter school,” says Jon Rosenberg, president and CEO of HCSC. “We are looking at cities throughout the country that will make good homes for the kind of high-quality, diverse, dual-language schools we work to launch, and Atlanta fits that bill perfectly.”

The organization is in the initial planning stages for a charter school that would be part of the Atlanta Public School System and would be open to children beginning in the fall of 2017. “Our experience in other cities since we began opening schools six years ago has shown us what works well – and that, specifically, is having a strong team of local parents and community leaders working with us to make it happen,” says Rosenberg. “We would like for anyone interested in partnering with us to make this school happen, to reach out to us.”   Interested parents and community leaders can contact HCSC, or 212-792-6234.

HCSC schools, says Rosenberg, teach students Modern Hebrew, provide a full and rigorous academic program, serve racially and economically diverse student populations, and emphasize the importance of civic responsibilities both as Americans and as global citizens.

The organization’s track record is strong. Its first school, the Hebrew Language Academy (HLA) in Brooklyn, which opened in 2009, has recently tested impressively against community and peer schools in New York City. Its second school, Hatikvah International Academy in New Jersey, also tested strongly against peer and state schools, and both of these schools have now expanded to middle school.

The Hebrew Charter School Center is building a national network of academically rigorous dual-language charter schools that teach children of all backgrounds to become fluent and literate in Modern Hebrew and prepare them to be productive global citizens. In addition to the school in Brooklyn, the network includes schools in Harlem, New Jersey, Washington, DC, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.