We are two weeks into ExcelinEd’s My School Information Design Challenge, with the goal of making state report cards on schools more useful to parents, teachers, policymakers, and the broader community. Rebecca Shah, on Data Quality Campaign’s Blog, highlighted the need for not just making data available, but putting it in a usable format:
We use information to make decisions in most areas of our lives. I always filter my Amazon search results to only include products with customer ratings of four stars or up, and I never choose a date-night restaurant without checking multiple sources for expert and customer reviews (and still feel the pressure from my foodie husband). However, when it comes to deciding where I want to send my daughter for elementary school, my information options are limited. And when information is available, states often present these data in a way that is not easy to understand or use. I know this firsthand after sifting through a giant PDF of school profiles trying to pull out relevant information.
The good news is that there are some leading states (DC, Illinois, and Ohio, to name a few) and organizations doing great work to advance the field of public reporting. The most recent effort launched two weeks ago by the Foundation for Excellence in Education is the My School Information Design Challenge. This is a national competition (with prizes) encouraging designers to reimagine the appearance, presentation, and usability of school report cards, and DQC’s own Founder and Executive Director Aimee Rogstad Guidera will serve as a judge. All designers are encouraged to submit ideas by October 17, and the competition winners’ ideas will be open source and usable by states nationwide.
Read the rest of this post at DQC’s The Flashlight Blog.