Monday, October 14, 2013
Edsource.org recently released an interactive website that allows users to compare various major education metrics against one another (per pupil expenditures, teach salaries, student-to-teacher ratios, NAEP scores, etc.). It also compares the states against one another on scatter-plots and line graphs. Users can also track changes in the data across four decades. It is an incredibly powerful and efficient tool for those looking for basic data calculations and comparisons. It may be the most user friendly I have seen. For that reason, I am sure students will love it.
With that said, some of the underlying data calculations are relatively simplistic and do not fully account for geographic costs, student need, and other relavant local factors (although there is a per-capita income versus local spending chart). In this respect, the data can be misleading to the average observer. The most sophisticated analysis of school funding continues to be the Education Law Center and Rutgers Graduate School of Education's reports. Edsource.org, however, covers broader categories of data and, thus, using the ELC/RGSE reports in conjunction with this website could be helpful.