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WBUR’s Learning Lab Blog Spotlights Mass EduData Challenge

Learning Lab, an education-focused blog from Boston public radio station WBUR, covered the latest developments out of the Mass EduData Challenge, an event sponsored as part of the Mass Big Data Initiative which now has the participation of 60-plus civic hackers, developers and students.  The piece highlights the core goals of the challenge, to create tools to analyze and find education trends in the data provided by the Commonwealth’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

WBUR reporter Peter Balonon-Rosen reached out to a participant to uncover his motivation in partaking in this challenge,

“I was really interested in seeing how the education system here in Massachusetts works,” said David Lago, an application architect participating in the challenge. “I was interested if there was any way that we could make the information more accessible for people.”

In his piece, Balonen-Rosen recognized the potential for Data Challenge submissions to help educators understand why some programs are more effective than others. The education data, provided by DESE is extensive and includes detailed data on the graduating class of 2014, covering their progress from kindergarten to high school graduation. With data security a big issue, Balonen-Rosen cites the anonymization built into the event, noting that the target data sets does not contain any personally identifiable information, an aspect that the Commonwealth and its partners in this data challenge take very seriously.

The competition wraps up on July 8th. In the next few weeks Learning Lab will continue following the competition with profiles on challenge participants.