Kauffman Foundation Debuts New Online Resource to Make Accessing Public Education Data Faster and Easier

EdWise is one-of-a-kind data tool to help school districts, non-profit organizations and policymakers make informed education decisions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (June 23, 2015) — Even for experienced educators and researchers, finding data to inform decisions can be daunting. To help make publicly available education data more accessible to more people, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has launched a new online tool called EdWise.

Comprising 14 million records, EdWise catalogs K-12 Department of Education statistics from Missouri and Kansas. Although this information is already available to the public, it’s often difficult to find and digest. The customizable and searchable EdWise database provides an easy-to-use online tool to help parents, educators, school districts, policymakers and others better understand the educational landscape and make education decisions. EdWise is online at kauffman.org/edwise.

“We talked with district and school leaders, university faculty, government officials, parents and community members at every step of the EdWise development process,” said Aaron North, vice president of Education at the Foundation. “The more we talked with people, the more we realized the shared desire for better access to a wide range of education data in Missouri and Kansas.”

EdWise allows users to explore 25 years of school and district data in a range of categories, such as assessments, demographics, finance, staff and transportation. EdWise uses only publicly available education data. This aggregate information does not identify individual students, teachers or programs.

“Efficient access to well-managed data will improve the ability of educators and policymakers to add and grow quality seats for all Kansas City students,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said. “I am grateful to Kauffman Foundation for putting EdWise together, and I hope that it helps educators throughout the region.”

The Kauffman Foundation spent three years developing EdWise, collaborating with state departments of education, local school districts and education researchers to ensure the accuracy of the data and ease of use.

“PREP-KC is committed to implementing a set of strategies in partnership with urban schools and districts that yield measurable improvements in academic achievement,” said Kathleen Boyle Dalen, vice president of Kansas City's Partnership for Regional Educational Preparation (PREP-KC). “EdWise will be an important tool to PREP-KC, and to our region, as it provides easy and timely access to actionable data on key indicators of achievement. EdWise creates a more expansive backdrop with which PREP-KC's Data Dashboard can align, resulting in the opportunity to take the broad context into consideration as we work to improve outcomes in urban education.”