Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is EdWise?
EdWise is a new, custom-built technology tool developed by the Kauffman Foundation that aggregates publicly available school metrics into a single database.
2. Why did the Kauffman Foundation develop EdWise?
EdWise stemmed from a desire within the Kauffman Foundation to be the best possible stewards of the resources we invest in the local, regional, and national education sectors. The sheer volume of public education data made processing internal and external requests for information time consuming and complex endeavors. In conversations with district and school leaders, university faculty, government officers, parents, and community members, we realized these groups all shared the same challenges. A wide range of education stakeholders will benefit from having free and easy access to public information that could tell them more about the educational communities in Kansas and Missouri. EdWise was created with feedback and engagement from those stakeholder groups, along with state-level administrators, to address those needs and challenges. Read more in the press release.
3. How is EdWise different than other online tools?
EdWise provides access to more Kansas and Missouri records, over 14 million, in an innovative and visually interesting manner. The features that set EdWise apart will allow you to:
- Compare information in a timely manner without lengthy and redundant formatting of raw data;
- Search for information regarding schools and districts across multiple dimensions;
- Map many of the 600+ variables going back over two decades to understand trends over time; and
- Select the sub-group and topic before downloading the information.
4. Is there a cost or enrollment fee to use EdWise?
No. EdWise is free and available to the public. Although we have tailored the tools to be of use to certain audiences, anyone can access any tool on our website at any time.
5. How will the Kauffman Foundation help people make the most of the resources available on EdWise?
The Foundation is working to provide a wide range of support for EdWise users, including:
- Free training for district leadership or appointed representatives;
- Free training for the public in partnership with groups like the library system, mayor's offices, and community-based nonprofit organizations;
- Recorded presentations/webinars explaining EdWise;
- Documents describing each of the tools and how to use them;
- A hub of resources, including videos, blog posts, and white papers explaining various components of EdWise or data literacy;
- An open email that people can use to send comments, questions, or ideas about EdWise, its website, or the training.
All of this information, including training dates, documents, and videos, will be posted on the EdWise website.
NOTE: The training sessions won't make you an expert statistician or provide the history, analysis, or commentary of education in Kansas and Missouri. Our goal is to explain how and why EdWise was created, how EdWise is updated, and recommendations regarding how to use EdWise.
6. Who will benefit most from EdWise?
Education data can serve a wide spectrum of users looking to help schools do great things:
- Individual school and district leaders;
- Parents and the general public;
- Universities and others conducting education research;
- Non-profit organizations in education; and
- Businesses and business organizations.
7. How will they use EdWise?
The fully customizable tools of EdWise can support a wide range of specific tasks. Here are some of the ways EdWise can be used:
- Learn about the demographics of teachers and students in individual schools or districts;
- Download information needed to complete funding proposals or grants;
- Identify partners for collaboration;
- Align programs, services, scholarships, or support;
- Identify appropriate comparisons so that schools and districts can engage in informed strategic planning.
- Complete preliminary research for academic papers or needs assessments; and
- Help answer public questions about education and the data collected on the state level.
In addition, a feature designed to be intuitive, quick, and easy to use will allow users to learn about a single school using a small number of infographics.
NOTE: EdWise is not intended to provide the sole source for any personal or organizational education decision. Our focus and goal is to provide a ready resource that can serve as a starting point and reference for the dynamic conversations related to education.
8. How will EdWise reflect contextual policy issues like changes to mandated tests?
Changes to certification standards and funding policies can be difficult to adequately reflect in EdWise. Collecting user feedback and ideas will be important to ensure appropriate context is available when necessary. We will make every effort to incorporate contextual information without slowing down the user experience.
9. How do we know the data are correct?
All data are public and are imported directly from public sources. An internal process allows for automatic review and cleaning of all data on a regular basis. Annually, all data and the internal processes are professionally reviewed for accuracy by an outside third-party research group.
If you find an error or a discrepancy, or have a question regarding anything accessed via the EdWise tool, please send an email to EdWise@Kauffman.org. We will address the issue and respond to your email as quickly as possible.
10. Can EdWise show the user how the data displayed in the report are calculated?
Only about 10 percent of the variables within EdWise were actually calculated by EdWise. The vast majority of the variables are taken directly from the state department of education websites with no additional summing, multiplying, or dividing. The only changes made via EdWise to original data involved taking whole number percentages and dividing them by 100 for easier formatting and use.
If EdWise calculated a variable, it will be clearly labeled as "EdWise CALCULATED" in its definition.
11. What is the schedule for updating data and renewing EdWise?
Data will be imported monthly. The bulk of new data will likely be added in late August and late January when Kansas and Missouri release assessment and enrollment data. The last import date will be time stamped on the website any time new data are added.
12. How are the 2014-2015 results from the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test different from previous years?
The 2015 spring MAP assessments represent the first time students were tested on new standards for English and math. This was also the first time students in grades 3-8 took these assessments online. Because of these changes, comparisons made to previous years’ results should be done with caution and discretion.