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Contest Seeks Redesign of School Performance Report Cards

A new competition with a $15,000 first prize is kicking off to encourage designers, developers and data experts to reimagine what the American school report card could be. This isn't the one handed out for each student; it's the one mandated by the federal government starting in 2001-2002 as part of the No Child Left Behind Act that shares individual school profiles with state assessment results.

The "My School Info Design Challenge," sponsored by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, has three goals for entries:

  • To give families intuitive and easily understood school performance information they can act on;
  • To provide report cards that take advantage of Web and mobile functionality; and
  • To improve how information is displayed on the report card.

The foundation, founded by Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, is working on reform in education in areas such as digital learning, college and career readiness, professional development for teachers and school leaders, freedom in school choice and other partisan and non-partisan initiatives.

"State departments of education across the country have been grappling with how to present complex student and school performance data in a user-friendly format that is accessible across multiple platforms, while meeting federal and state requirements," said Patricia Levesque, CEO of the foundation. The competition, she added, "is intended to offer state education departments help in presenting this important information by inspiring a new generation of school report cards that inform parents, engage communities and strengthen accountability."

Judging will be done privately by a panel including educators, designers and parents. Then public voting will take place to elicit which design components are the most popular. Winners will be announced in December. The first prize is $15,000, the second place winner will receive $10,000 and additional prizes will be awarded during the public voting period.

All entries are due by October 17.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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