Digital consultancy Rennzer isn’t in it for the money. Or for the glory.
Rather, it entered the My School Information Design Challenge for the rush of competition and the chance to improve school transparency, explained CEO Omid Jahanbin.
“It allows us to lend a helping hand and our expertise and help us create pretty ambitious projects,” he said.
Rennzer’s submission is a one-stop-shop platform that rates schools along five indicators, compares them to others in the region and provides other information like demographic data. It was whipped up in a few months by a core team of four, Jahanbin said.
The current system of “massive Excel spreadsheets” is “a really tedious exercise for a parent who’s really strapped on time … and is trying to navigate the best school for their child,” said Jahanbin.
Too often, they have to rely on outdated information “from their friends and family” to make these life-changing decisions, he added.
The platform was selected by judges as a finalist, but now you can help pick who will go home with the $15,000 grand prize by voting. Tick-tock: polls close soon.
Whether Rennzer wins or loses, it plans to offer the platform to states that “want to improve the transparency of their education reporting,” starting in January, said Jahanbin.
The design challenge is held by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a nonprofit chaired by former Florida governor Jeb Bush that advocates for education reform.
“Transparent and accessible information about the performance of our schools is critical if we want to improve the academic outcomes of all students,” he said in a September press release. “Ensuring parents and the public understand the quality of their local schools is the foundation of a strong accountability system.”