Monday, December 31, 2012

Come and Get It

The field of education currently has an insatiable appetite when it comes to data, and there is quite the buffet of sites out there presenting an assortment of flavors. This will be the first in a series of posts about sites that showcase educational research and data. So, pull up a chair and dig in.

Civil Rights Data Collection

Click here to visit the collection. No admission fee.

The Civil Rights Data Collection contains data sets about enrollment demographics; pre-K; math and science courses; AP, SAT, and ACT results; discipline records; incidences of bullying; school expenditures, and teacher experience. You can run customized reports for (large) schools or districts---very handy for looking at the breakdown of enrollment or discipline by different demographics. Data is currently available through 2009, with promised updates in the near future. You also have the ability to make comparisons across schools and districts.

ED Data Express

Touch here to check out ED Data Express. Ooo...that tickles!

If you head over to ED Data Express, you can get a different sort of overview of the states. Data from federal programs, such as Title I, Title IIA, and Migrant/Bilingual (Title III), can be sorted and analyzed. There is also information on graduation rates, NAEP results, and other comparative factors.

National Center for Education Statistics

You can check out the NCES by clicking here. C'mon. You know you want to.

The grand-daddy of them all is the National Center for Education Statistics. There could be several posts about just this one site. There is so much there to explore. You can download questions used on the NAEP...sift through national research initiative...find out about various statewide initiatives to build sites for public educational data...and much much more.

For most classroom-level purposes, these data sites are interesting...but not useful. The lens is pretty wide for these sites. However, looking at the world from a school or district viewpoint, these sites start to get interesting. They change the introspective focus we tend to have and get us thinking about a wider set of factors. A child is far more than a test score (regardless of what the feds say), and these data sets let you see a bigger picture. Is our school/district "normal"? By what sorts of measures---demographics, enrollment in science courses, how we spend our Title IIA dollars? What do we want for our kids and what do schools "look like" that have those attributes? These datasets will allow you to dig into background in ways that were not available even a few years ago. So go poke around...see what questions they bring to mind.

I'll have another post in the near future to showcase a few more sites. Do you have a suggestion to add to the list? Let me know and I'll include it.

Happy New Year!

1 comment: