- In Kansas, a new website allows the public to browse the state’s 286 school districts, along with 24 other private and specialized public school systems, in order to compare and contrast several evaluative factors and points of information.
- The dashboard allows viewers to see each school or district’s percentage of high school graduates who enroll in two- or four-year post-secondary institutions and technical colleges; graduation, dropout, and attendance rates; teacher licensing information; student demographics; state test scores; ACT scores; NAEP scores; and more.
- The idea behind the portal is to offer the public more tools with which to evaluate the state’s schools, allowing various kinds of information to be parsed in a single location.
The new system in Kansas bodes well for supporters of transparency and technology. If the portal works well, it could serve as a model for other states seeking more disclosure when it comes to accountability and general school data. It’s also noteworthy that officials explicitly said that the portal can and will be expanded with more information in the future.
With the new Every Student Succeeds Act’s more flexible approach to accountability, measures like Kansas' new site will likely be more common. Although the increased freedom for states to determine accountability measures will be interpreted differently by various states, it’s still too soon to tell when and if other states will follow Kansas' example in transparency.