Information system for enabling innovative process in school systems

Vittal Prabhu, Meg Small, Vamsi Salaka, Maneesha Panicker

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The aim of this research is to explore the use of information distributed throughout schools and research centers to serve as a seamless resource that can be accessed by school managers from their offices. The key motivation is, by providing relevant actionable information to school system managers together with friendly tools for decision support will lead to optimal management of resources. The need to integrate information from various schools and research databases is motivated by the feet that the decision-making problems have considerable similarities across schools mat have similar characteristics. Therefore it is postulated that solutions that work well in a school will also work well in other schools that have similar characteristics. For instance such characteristics could include socioeconomic conditions, public health conditions, resource availability, etc. One of the important research issues that we looked into is developing systematic classification techniques that can identify similar schools across complex, multiple, dimensions. Data mining techniques based on pattern recognition and statistical techniques like K-means clustering that are available in commercial software packages, are used to serve as a first step for exploratory research. A significant challenge here is the fusion of quantitative and qualitative information and mining such hybrid information sources to create the distributed knowledge base. Such classification tools will help school management to solve a specific problem by querying the information system for past solutions from similar schools. Because schools are not competing entities by their very nature sharing success across schools should be viable. The resulting success/failure experience will become part of the envisioned distributed information system thereby the available knowledgebase will continue to grow with time and with number of schools that use it This could also serve as a conduit for information as a cohort of students joining a new school for higher grades. For instance, information from several primary schools will be sent to the secondary schools when the students graduate to higher grades. The resulting knowledge base will be a useful resource for all the stakeholders in the school system parent, students, teachers, principals, superintendents, and government The outcome of the aforementioned research is a proof-of-concept software prototype; INSPIRE standing for Innovative School Processes for Intelligent Re-Engineering. Development of this software prototype helped in identifying and articulating the scope and research challenges in this multi disciplinary work INSPIRE software is presently being tested in Harrisburg school district and is able to provide school staff and teachers appropriate actionable information in a timely manner along with suggestions based on scientific evidence for appropriate interventions. We are looking forward for valuable feedback from the teachers and school management using this software.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2004
EventIIE Annual Conference and Exhibition 2004 - Houston, TX, United States
Duration: May 15 2004May 19 2004


OtherIIE Annual Conference and Exhibition 2004
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHouston, TX

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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