GreatSchools and Education Cities Demonstrate New Technology at the White House to Identify Gaps in Educational Equity Across the Nation

The Opportunity Dashboard will offer parents and policymakers a unique view of educational opportunities in America

Washington, DC, October 6, 2016 — Using data to help improve educational opportunities for all American children, GreatSchools and Education Cities demonstrated a prototype for an innovative technology platform called the Opportunity Dashboard at the White House today.
GreatSchools and Education Cities answered a call to action from the Obama Administration to participate in an 8-week technology sprint to develop a big idea to address a problem statement described by the U.S. Department of Education.

As part of the White House’s Opportunity Project, a public-private initiative expanding access to opportunity for all Americans, GreatSchools and Education Cities were among a select group of organizations chosen to present their big ideas to an audience of federal policy leaders.

The Opportunity Dashboard prototype uses advanced applications of open data to identify educational opportunities and disparities in how public schools are serving students from different backgrounds.

Underlying the Opportunity Dashboard is the largest collection of educational data of its kind. It includes information compiled from all 51 state education agencies and from the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection at subject and grade level, disaggregated by student subgroup, for all K-12 schools in the nation. This prototype is a bold undertaking and important step in the fight for educational equity. For the first time, difficult to access and painstaking to analyze data on school resources and outcomes could be available nationwide. Advocates, parents and policymakers would have the opportunity to use this information to identify disparities across student groups and better inform local decision-making about how to allocate resources across our schools.

Samantha Olivieri, Vice President of GreatSchools presenting at the White House Opportunity Project 

“Our mission at GreatSchools is to ensure that all parents have the best possible data and insights to help their children succeed in our nation’s public school system regardless of their income, where they live, or their background,” said Samantha Olivieri, Vice President of GreatSchools.  “With the Opportunity Dashboard, a grassroots organizer can help parents make an evidence-based case to school and district officials that education must improve for their community.”

The dashboard prototype is designed with the goal of fundamentally changing how our education advocates and the parents they serve can improve access to a good education. What sets this prototype apart is the depth and breadth of data, along with intuitive visualizations that could help our leaders — governors, legislators, mayors, superintendents, principals — make critical decisions and take action to support our most underserved students.

“Along with providing parents, educators and policymakers with the data they need to demand change, the dashboard also aims to identify schools that are beating the odds. It’s important to highlight the schools and cities where students from traditionally underserved families are making dramatic progress, and asking what conditions enable these students to succeed,” said Carrie Douglass, Managing Partner, Education Cities. “We won’t be able to live up to our values as a country until we provide a high quality education to every student.”

This is the second time GreatSchools has been invited to present at the White House Opportunity Project.  In March 2016, GreatSchools demonstrated technology designed to make it easier for parents to look for housing while comparing schools that provide the best education opportunity for their children.

About GreatSchools

GreatSchools is the leading national nonprofit empowering parents to improve educational opportunities for their child.  GreatSchools’ trusted ratings and school quality information help parents find the right school for their family and take action to improve schools in their communities. The thousands of articles, tips and interactive tools help parents support their child’s learning and well-being every day. Families, community leaders and policy-makers turn to GreatSchools for the school information they need to guide children to great futures.

About Education Cities

Education Cities is a nonprofit network of 31 city-based organizations in 24 cities working to dramatically increase the number of great public schools across the country. Education Cities members are nonprofit organizations that invest in schools, support great teachers, engage their communities, and advance pro-child and pro-teacher policies.

Carrie Goux


GreatSchools is the leading nonprofit providing high-quality information that supports parents pursuing a great education for their child, schools striving for excellence, and communities working to diminish inequities in education. We are the only national organization that collects and analyzes data from all 51 state departments of education and the federal government to provide analysis, insights, and school quality ratings for parents, partners, researchers, and policymakers. Over 49 million users visit GreatSchools’ award-winning website annually to learn about schools in their area, explore research insights, and access thousands of free, evidence-based parenting resources to support their child’s learning and well-being.

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