Data Science for Operations and Planning at Durham Public Schools


A team of students will analyze, map, and visualize student enrollment and demographic data in Durham County. The team will collaborate closely with analytics professionals at the Durham Public Schools (DPS) operations department and will provide analysis to help DPS plan and manage student enrollment and improve fairness in its student assignment policies.

Potential projects for next summer will include a combination of:

1. Optimizing base school attendance zones: building on work from last summer on drawing district boundaries based on optimizing for different criteria such as distance from school, balance in race/socio-economic statistics, and neighborhood cohesiveness.  

2. Market share analysis: helping to explain enrollment changes at DPS schools over time, using census data and DPS information that separates total students into those attending private, charter, and traditional public schools.  

3. Measuring School Poverty: exploring the correlation between single measures of economic disadvantage such as median family income or poverty rates with indices that combine multiple Census variables on poverty, education, and housing. 

Project Lead: Vitaly Radsky, School Planner, Durham Public Schools

Project Manager: Julie Bennett