Department of Education Sets New Bar for Transparency with Launch of Data.ed.gov
As part of the Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative, the U.S. Department of Education today launched Data.ed.gov, which will ultimately serve as a one-stop shop for education data and allow practitioners, researchers, and the public to access data that can inform their work in classrooms and communities across America. The Department plans to make the grant-making process more transparent to the public through this website by providing substantial amounts of easily accessible data about applications, applicants and their partners, while still protecting privacy and proprietary information. The first competitive grant program featured on the website is the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), which received nearly 1,700 applications last month. The public can now view detailed information on all i3 applicants, as well as run customized reports and summary analysis on subsets of applicants. The i3 applicant data reflects the information that the Department received from applicants; it has not been reviewed for eligibility or otherwise modified by the Department. Because this is a pilot effort, the Department welcomes feedback on the site and looks forward to improving it over time.
"The public has the right to know more about the efforts we consider funding, what programs and projects we do fund, and what outcomes we are achieving with those efforts," said Secretary Arne Duncan. "Data.ed.gov extends our commitment to transparency and provides additional tools that allow the public to analyze ED's investments."
Data.ed.gov is designed to be more user-friendly than traditional data sites by providing tools that allow users to visualize the data. These tools include mapping, graphing and charting, and data exporting features that let all users engage meaningfully with the data while allowing advanced users to download the data and analyze them on their own.
Data.ed.gov is part of the Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative. On his first full day in Office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, ushering in a new era of open and accountable government meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government. On December 8, 2009, the White House issued an unprecedented Open Government Directive requiring federal agencies to take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration.