For each of these indicators, an arrow points up, down, or from side to side to indicate how the data are trending. Users of the website can drill down further to see state comparisons and other information.

An indicator under the heading “Teachers and Leaders,” however, reveals the number of states whose school districts use student test-score data as part of their teacher evaluation systems—a practice that is far more controversial.

The Dashboard also includes a section called “An Excellent Education for All,” which provides data on whether subgroups of students are performing sufficiently. And it shows how high-poverty school districts are funded compared to low-poverty districts in their state. The website allows users to download customized reports for further analyses.

ED says it will update the Dashboard’s data continually, as well as enhance the tools on the site—and it encourages users to provide their feedback on the Dashboard, so its functionality can be enhanced in updates and subsequent versions.

(Editor’s note: For more information about using data to improve education, see our Special Report: “Advanced analytics: Helping educators approach the ideal.”)