Baesler: New ‘Dashboard’ Useful for Parents, Taxpayers

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557

Baesler: New ‘Dashboard’ Useful for Parents, Taxpayers

BISMARCK, N.D., Dec. 22, 2017 – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says a new “school dashboard” will offer North Dakota parents and taxpayers an easier way to look up information about how their local schools are performing.

North Dakotans may use the dashboard to view education information about individual schools and districts, Baesler said. It can be accessed from the Department of Public Instruction’s website and a separate website, North Dakota Insights, which is being developed as a home for state agency and community data.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to be more transparent and publicly accountable to North Dakota’s students, parents and taxpayers,” Baesler said. “North Dakotans invest their tax dollars in education, and we must make sure that information about how our schools are doing is easily accessible.”

The present dashboard includes information about high school graduation rates; test results and student participation for the North Dakota State Assessment for mathematics, English and science; and North Dakota results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test that has been administered for decades and is referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card.”

Baesler said the dashboard will be updated in the future with a wealth of additional data, including information about advanced coursework, career and technical education opportunities, school climate, school and district budgets, and tax revenues.

“The first version of our dashboard is a good start, and we have many improvements coming to provide the public a picture of schools’ delivery of well-rounded education opportunities,” she said.

Baesler said the first version of the dashboard displays information that was previously listed on the Department of Public Instruction’s website as pdf documents, which were more difficult to find and compare. The dashboard has graphical data that can be located and interpreted more quickly.

For example, with a few clicks, a person can discover that North Dakota’s public school enrollment rose 3 percent over three years – from 106,337 in 2014-15 to 109,525 in 2016-17.

North Dakotans can find how many students in a specific school scored as “proficient” or “advanced” in state tests, along with the school’s attendance rate, a racial breakdown of its student population, and the school’s percentage of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

The project is a collaborative effort between the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, the state Information Technology Department, and the North Dakota University System.