Educational opportunity is an important issue in a democratic society. In the United States, measuring educational achievement and opportunity is complex because the public education system is diffuse. Funding for public education depends on a combination of local, state and federal governing bodies. The variations in funding and community level support for public education and standardized testing makes comparisons and analysis across the U.S. an arduous task.
This is why the SDR deposit of the week is critically important to note. Stanford University Professor, Sean Reardon and his colleagues have just deposited the Stanford Education and Data Archive (SEDA) into the Stanford Digital Repository for long term preservation and this data tackles the difficulty of comparing test score data from every public elementary and middle school in the United States for a period of 5 years,(2009-2012).
This is a data set that includes 215 million test scores. What's brilliant about this collection of data is that, Reardon and his team developed a method to equate the scores across states for comparison enabling a whole new set of questions to be answered, new stories to be told, and new questions to be raised.