DC Public Charter School Board Embraces Open Data to Help Parents Access Charter School Performance Information

Thursday, December 19, 2013

For Immediate Release: 

Contact: Theola Labbé-DeBose (PCSB),  202-328-2670, tldebose@dcpcsb.org

                   Ewan Simpson (Socrata), 443-939-4150, ewan.simpson@socrata.com


Washington, D.C. - The District of Columbia Public Charter School Board (PCSB) has embraced the open data movement to give parents more access to charter school information through a new open data Web portal: data.dcpcsb.org. The site, powered by the cloud-based open data software provider Socrata, launched with PCSB data focusing on Early Childhood Education, Adult Education and Performance Management Framework (PMF) data. Most recently, data from the recently-released 2013 DC Equity Reports was included. 


More than 37,000 students, or 44% of the public school population, attend 109 individual charter school campuses across the District. Each charter school has a unique curriculum and program focus. As the number of public charter schools has grown, PCSB is committed to giving parents and the public an easy way to see how all charter schools are performing. Parents can use data.dcpcsb.org to drill into topics such as attendance rate, early childhood assessments, adult education program job placement, and others.


The new portal allows users to create their own filtered views of the data, create data visualizations like bar graphs, pie charts, custom maps, and others, and share their creations through social media tools that are integrated into the platform.



The pie chart shows the percentage of student achievement in reading and math in charter school early childhood programs.


“PCSB hasn’t had a user-friendly way to share information with the public – until now,” said Executive Director Scott Pearson. “Through this open data platform, PCSB will be able to provide parents and the public a way to directly interact with information about charter schools in ways that can empower them to use the data to inform their child’s education experience and school choices,” Pearson said.

“We are also eager to see these tools used by policymakers, charter school staff and leadership, and boards of trustees to better inform their understanding of the charter school sector and their school’s performance,” said Pearson.


The portal data.dcpcsb.org launched in November with school performance data. PCSB plans to add other data including student discipline, enrollment, and demographic information. In addition to the analytical tools PCSB has built, PCSB is looking to inspire education activists and the developer community in DC to build new applications using this open data -- making it even more accessible, useful, and customized for users.


About PCSB: The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is setting a national model for creating quality public school options through its rigorous review of new charter applications and effective oversight of charter school performance that is leading the transformation of public education in Washington, DC. PCSB oversees 60 public charter schools on 109 campuses serving nearly 37,000 students living in every ward of the city.  Learn more at  dcpcsb.org .


About Socrata: Socrata is a Seattle-based cloud software company focused exclusively on democratizing access to government data. We help public sector organizations improve transparency, citizen service and fact-based decision-making by efficiently delivering data to those who need it, in a user-friendly experience on web and through mobile and machine-to-machine interfaces. These are all core functions of open data.  Our turnkey cloud delivery model of complete, easy-to-use open data products empower our customers to unlock the full value of their data with unprecedented speed and cost savings. Innovators like the World Bank, Medicare, Data.gov, EnergyStar, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Oregon, Montgomery County, and Maryland, have all chosen Socrata as the technology platform for their strategic data sharing initiatives. To learn more about Socrata, visit socrata.com.


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