The School District of Philadelphia released several data sets today, including five years’ worth of data on enrollment, standardized test scores and school locations, according to a release.
Find the data here.
The data release, which comes two weeks before education hackathon and unconference TechCamp (organized by Technically Philly with the District and the U.S. State Department), is notable because the School District is not a city agency and technically doesn’t have to follow the Mayor’s Open Data Executive Order. The District also has representatives in the city’s Open Data Working Group, Chief Data Officer Mark Headd has said.
There are already a number of tools that allow Philadelphians to sift through these data sets (they were built before the School District’s data release), including: GreatPhillySchools, which lets you compare local schools, an app that allows you to compare standardized test scores statewide and School Finder, which lets you find your catchment area.
The education data space is hot in Philadelphia at the moment. For years, the Public School Notebook has lobbied for similar data releases, and independent consultants and developers, including groups like Jarv.us, have agitated around the space. In the last year, Technically Philly has sought to organize directly with the District, connecting IT staff with a broader technology community, Headd and the broader open data movement.
The chance for this to come together comes from a confluence of interest — from growing private interest, city government proponents like Headd and a new District administration keen on seeming innovative.
Full Disclosure: Technically Philly is a co-organizer of TechCamp and was involved with the strategy behind the School District’s data release.