CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator
573-751-3469

Vol. 45, No. 59

August  4, 2011

New Website Makes Education Data Easier to Use

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced today the launch of its new interactive website aimed at making education data easier to find and use.

The public side of the Missouri Comprehensive Data System (MCDS), also referred to as the Department’s “data portal,” is now open at mcds.dese.mo.gov.

School personnel, researchers and others now have a better way to access state education data collected through the Department’s Missouri Student Information System.  This includes data for public schools, public charter schools and other entities that the Department maintains.

“We are very excited to have our data portal in the public domain,” said Leigh Ann Grant-Engle, assistant commissioner for the Office of Data System Management, noting the importance of accessible information in an increasingly data-driven education environment.

The site provides tools that allow users to search and explore the data, create customized reports, and view state and local profiles.  It also can create charts and tables for trend and segmented data.  Users can download their customized reports for further analysis.

“In our old system, school districts have had to do all the work themselves to make side-by-side data comparisons or to create bars and graphs,” she said.  “It is a big deal, and I think as we start getting the word out, school personnel and the public are going to be very excited about it.”

Today, the Department added six years of academic-performance data from the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP).  Publicly accessible data is only available in the aggregate.

Visitors to the site might see limited information at first, Grant-Engle said, noting that more information and reports are being added daily.  Data is organized into eight broad categories:  accountability, college and career, district and school information, early childhood education, student characteristics, education staff, state assessment, and special education.

The site also features an online training center.  A series of webinars and other training sessions have been conducted this summer to help school district personnel learn how to use the site, including the secure area of the site where confidential student-level data is maintained. 

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