Education Data Site Will Allow Parents to Compare Schools in Utah

Monday, September 19, 2011

Utah parents have long had the ability to find data about their children?s schools online.

But not like this.

The State Office of Education is about to launch a new,public online data site that will allow parents to more easily find all sorts of information about schools, including demographics, test scores, No Child Left Behind results and school rankings.For the first time, they will also be able to, with the click of a button, compare achievement data for schools side by side, or on a graph, including comparing the achievement of demographically similar schools or schools in the same areas.Eventually, parents will likely even be able to use the site to look at individual teachers? student achievement ? an ability that?s been controversial in other states and is already drawing criticism in Utah.

State education officials expect to publicly launch the site, called the Public School Data Gateway,as early as this week in hopes of making it easier than ever for Utahns to be informed about their schools. The site will be accessible from the State Office of Education?s website.

State Superintendent Larry Shumway said it will give Utahns "access to data about school success in meaningful ways."

"This allows comparisons in lots of different ways. It allows parents to sort data into categories," Shumway said. "This is really a new level of transparency in our data."

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