Education Department launches Web site offering public data

Department joins the push for freeing its data on the Web

The Education Department is the latest federal agency to launch its own Web site featuring public datasets available for free download at Data.ed.gov.

Education's data Web site, launched June 17, includes 18 datasets covering federal student loan programs, elementary and secondary education, and math and science education, among others. The new Web site is an effort to comply with President Barack Obama’s call for enhanced transparency.

The site also includes a grant-making section featuring the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) competition, which closed in May. The i3 page includes information on the 1,698 applications received and allows for searches based on topic and type of applicant.


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“The public has the right to know more about the efforts we consider funding, what programs and projects we do fund, and what outcomes we are achieving with those efforts,” Secretary Arne Duncan said in a news release. “Data.ed.gov extends our commitment to transparency and provides additional tools that allow the public to analyze [the department's] investments.”

Additionally, the Data.ed.gov Web site also provides tools to allow users to visualize the data, including tools for charting, graphing, mapping, filtering and searching. For example, users can view grant application on a map that shows the applications from their own congressional district.

The data can be downloaded either as an entire dataset or portions of it.

Many federal agencies have begun releasing datasets to the public. The White House launched Data.gov in May 2009, and recently the Health and Human Services Department initiated its Community Health Data Initiative making its data available to the public by free download.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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