US Education Dashboard

Posted on 28 Jan 2011 in Educational Technology | Comments Off on US Education Dashboard

 

Dept of Ed Seal

 

The US Department of Education recently unveiled a user friendly way to see data on 16 key educational issues. The CEC Policy Insider reports that the Dashboard is a little light right now on special education and disability data (I concur, but that should improve in the future) and notes that current indicators reported on the Dashboard include:

  • High school four-year graduation rates;
  • Graduates who took at least one Advanced Placement course;
  • College enrollment data;
  • Number of States reporting any school districts using student performance in teacher evaluation systems;
  • Per pupil expenditure for students in high – low poverty areas

I took the Dashboard for a test drive and was not too impressed. For example, when looking at the Number of states reporting that any school districts are using teacher evaluation systems that include student achievement outcomes or student growth data, the answer was 8. But there were no charts of the data, no state-to-state comparisons, and only a US map showed which 8 states were compliant. No other details were available. On the other hand, when looking at 8th graders Proficient on the NAEP in reading for 2007 and 2009, the state-to-state comparison chart was fairly complete even showing trends for different ethnic groups. 

Over all, in comparison to hunting down educational statistics on http://data.ed.gov/ or http://ies.ed.gov/data.asp, this was a nice simplification. But until more information is pumped into this dashboard, the usefulness is rather limited. With so many companies such as Google, Facebook, and even Walmart mining data, it’s too bad that we have to be stuck with such elementary data analysis tools. 

What are your thoughts on the Dashboard – leave a comment and let me know.