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Tom Lang

Tom Lang has spent more than 3 decades in the field of journalism and marketing, while always having a hand in public education. His father was a school teacher, his mom a school secretary, and his wife teaches high school English and Humanities. On his own, Tom worked his way through college as a school bus driver and today remains closely tied to education as a Board member of FIRST (Robotics) in Michigan. He has worked with high school coaches and athletes for nearly 30 years as a freelance sports writer at the Detroit Free Press, and for more than 10 years as a basketball referee. Bottom line -- help kids grow, learn and create productive futures.

Recent Posts

2 min read

Securing Every Penny Possible for Small Districts

By Tom Lang on October 15, 2021 at 1:47 PM

Public school districts nationwide – particularly smaller districts – continue to deal with penny-pinching budgets as numbers rise for students transitioning to Virtual Academies, Charter Academies, private schools, and homeschooling options.

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3 min read

Clean Data’s Positive Impact on Smaller School Districts is Felt in Full Funding

By Tom Lang on September 16, 2021 at 10:01 AM

One big advantage for smaller school districts is the ability for teachers, principals, and other staff to get to know the students on a very personal level. It leads to better educational opportunities in many ways and brings citizens of small communities together.

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2 min read

How to Easily Run District-Wide Student Test Score Reports in PowerSchool

By Tom Lang on July 28, 2021 at 3:42 PM

What a wonderful world teachers, administrators, and counselors would be living in if they could – in a matter of minutes – easily track the local, state, and national test scores of their entire student body.

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2 min read

Why Safeguarding Student Data Remains Top Priority for the SC Dept. of Juvenile Justice

By Tom Lang on July 21, 2021 at 10:02 AM

In a generation captivated with voter polls, sports rankings, and lists for best places to live, Belinda McEachern is certain who is her No. 1 – Level Data.

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3 min read

How Data Quality Brings Recognition and Revenue to South Carolina Department of Education and Their Districts

By Tom Lang on June 25, 2021 at 10:29 AM

Dan Ralyea often finds himself in a unique position – where most of his contemporaries in state education data analysis look upon his state of South Carolina with envy.

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2 min read

Improved Incident Management Reporting Leads to Cleanest Ever District-wide State Data Submission

By Tom Lang on May 14, 2021 at 8:45 AM

No one in education wants an incident – but when something troubling does happen with any student or student groups, recording accurate data from the incident is imperative.

Vicky Sanchez, the Data Systems Specialist for Cheltenham (PA) School District, turned to Level Data to create a partnership to make sure their district’s annual Incident Management Reports to the Keystone state’s Safe Schools program were right the first time.

What she didn’t realize was how much more state reporting support and accuracy she would receive – plus large amounts of time saved – when utilizing Level Data’s State Data Validation Suite.

“It started with Incident Management, which is part of a huge report for ‘Safe Schools’ in Pennsylvania and we were having a lot of issues with that one report,” Sanchez said. “The report has so many different templates and components and a lot of our staff were not entering the information correctly and there were a lot of missing elements, conflicting information.

“So, the bottom line is we got Level Data’s State Validation Suite specifically for Incident Management. But the nice part is we have benefitted from all the other parts of State Validation as well – State Validation Suite tabs like demographics, enrollment, and the miscellaneous tabs that have different rules based on the state reporting rules that we use to cross-check our data entry. It makes sure we didn’t miss any information and that nothing’s mismatched.”

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3 min read

How Mapping Home Locations is Critical to School Budgets and Planning

By Tom Lang on April 22, 2021 at 10:14 AM

Student headcount accuracy is the most critical factor effecting government-funded school district budgets; few would question that fact.

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2 min read

Contact Tracing Now Made Easy for Schools Nationwide

By Tom Lang on April 21, 2021 at 3:38 PM

Contact Tracing for Covid-19 infections – while difficult to do in most cases but proven to be effective in the fight to eradicate the virus – has recently become extremely easy and lighting quick for school districts nationwide because of a specialized plug-in for districts using PowerSchool as its Student Information System (SIS).

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4 min read

Approved COVID-19 Funding Sources for RealTime Reports

By Tom Lang on March 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM

There is no question that in the near future, oodles and oodles of cash will be flowing into local school districts nationwide thanks to recent federal legislation.

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3 min read

Using Data Buried in PowerSchool to Help At-Risk Students

By Tom Lang on March 15, 2021 at 11:45 AM

Teachers, principals and counselors genuinely want to help students who are at-risk.
To do so, the first step is identifying those kids – and now there is an easy solution for such an enormous task – called RealTime Reports.

RealTime Reports seamlessly pulls a districts’ stored data to track broad trends with easy-to-review graphics and charts, yet also find students who otherwise slip through the cracks to lead school personnel to those in need with detailed lists.

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