D.C. Transparency Watch: Education Data To Get New Attention By Independent Research Unit

A new staff in the office of the legislative auditor, guided by a 16-member advisory board, could begin as early as this fall to take stock of the city’s education system, under a bill introduced April 10 by Council Member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and eight cosponsors.

The unit, to be called the D.C. Education Research Collaborative, will do research on its own and under contract with others, and will seek outside grants. An early assignment is to collect every scrap of data on all D.C. schools (DCPS and charter) and assess gaps in collection and management, using comparisons with state-of-the-art data capabilities in other systems nationwide.

The new plan reflects growing dissatisfaction of Council members and the community over inadequate transparency on school topics, highlighted by the graduation scandal earlier this year.  As The Washington Post quoted Cheh, “We have been getting bad information — some of it just false, some of it misleading, some of it incomplete, and we can’t get a handle on what to do if we don’t know what’s happening.” Read more…