Duncan to Congress: Giving States Flexibility is Working | ED.gov Blog | Eleanore’s Ramblings…

Duncan to Congress: Giving States Flexibility is Working | ED.gov Blog | Eleanore’s Ramblings….

Yes, this is a repost from another blog site, originally from the Department of Education blog site at http://ed.gov/blog.  This particular post caught my eye because it speaks to a more local level of control over appropriate educational programming, based on each state’s specific educational needs.  Through participation in the Common Core of Data (CCD) via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd), the comparison of learned skills continues so that states monitor their students’ educational achievements against those of students in other states, but they do so differently than was originally proscribed by NCLB.  Unlike in NCLB which stressed a single test to measure progress across the nation, a program of how and what is taught and assessed is developed locally, by administrators and officials who know their population best.

#educ_dr

High School Graduation Rates Rose in 2010

Great news was announced earlier this week: high school graduates rates rose to the highest point in almost 40 years.  Even more encouraging is that graduation rates among Hispanics jumped “almost 10 points since 2006,” according to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  The information comes from a new report from NCES (the National Center of Education Statistics) on 2009-2010 graduation and dropout rates entered into the Common Core of Data.

Related information can be found on my other blog site, Eleanore’s Ramblings, in which two interesting reports from Jennifer Karan, executive director of the SAT program, are also addressed. These reports address college and career readiness and college readiness among incoming freshmen.

#educ_dr

“Open Data for College Affordability and Better Student Outcomes”

Reblogged from Homeroom, the Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education:

Open Data for College Affordability and Better Student Outcomes

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

The Obama Administration recently launched the Education Data Initiative to help students and their families benefit from innovation enabled by open data from the US government and other sources.  By working to make education data more available and useful to entrepreneurs and innovators, we’re confident that new products and services will continue to emerge to help American families make informed educational decisions and improve student outcomes.

The Education Data Initiative is part of a series of Open Data Initiatives—other ones include energy, health, and public safety—in which the Administration is working to help catalyze the development of innovative apps and services fueled by open data, while rigorously protecting privacy and confidentiality.

Todd Park speaks at the data jam

US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park speaks at the Education Data Jam

This week, staff from the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and the George Washington School of Business held an Education “Data Jam” in Washington, DC.  A diverse set of educational technology experts and entrepreneurs gathered to brainstorm new applications, products, services, and product features that could be developed using open educational data to drive increases in student success.

The MyData Initiative, which encourages schools, software vendors, and others who hold student data to make it available to parents and students in electronic, machine-readable formats, was an important focus of the workshop discussion.  Allowing students to download their own data enables them to maintain their personal learning profile, access customized learning experiences, and make informed school selection and financial aid choices.  At the workshop, the Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid unveiled the MyData files it will be launching for student aid application (FAFSA) and disbursement (NSLDS) data downloads. Students will soon be able to retrieve their own student aid data in machine-readable format, which they could then share with online services that can harness the data to provide customized assistance with finding scholarships, choosing schools, or repaying loans.

The Education Data Jam also focused on Federal education data sets now available at education.data.gov.  Publicly available data about education outcomes can help fuel the next generation of customized services and tools for students, teachers, and school districts.

Data from the Learning Registry, a new open-source technical system to help educators and learners use and share digital content, was also a major subject of the brainstorm.  Developers interested in connecting student performance or teacher preparation tools to appropriate content can leverage the information stored in this crowd-sourced platform.

In wrapping up the event, we challenged participants to collaborate on building tools or services using the data demonstrated at the Data Jam.  Groups who successfully implement their ideas in the next 90 days will have an opportunity to potentially be featured at a follow-on event—an “Education Datapalooza”—that will celebrate private-sector education innovation fueled by open data.  The challenge to build innovative education tools and services, for potential demonstration at the Datapalooza, is open to everyone.  Information about the data sets presented at the Data Jam is available here.  And if you’d like more details about the Education Dataplaooza or if you have an idea or an example of a private-sector innovation (a product, service, website, app, or feature) that uses open education data, please send an email to Richard.Culatta@ed.gov.