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State DPI unveils 'school dashboard' of education data

Pamela Knudson

If you're interested in information on the performance of individual schools, you probably can find it on a new "school dashboard," available online from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

Statistics on North Dakota schools and school districts are "easily accessible," said State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, in a news release.

The dashboard's release demonstrates the department's "ongoing commitment to be more transparent and publicly accountable" to the state's taxpayers, parents and students, she said.

Information is provided in categories such as high school graduation rates; test results and student participation in the North Dakota State Assessment for mathematics, English and science; and North Dakota results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test commonly referred to as the "Nation's Report Card."

For example, you also can obtain data on individual school enrollment, how many students scored as "proficient" or "advanced" in state tests, racial breakdown of its student population and percentage of students who qualified for free or reduced-priced meals.

As the dashboard evolves, information will be added on advanced coursework, career and technical education opportunities, school climate, school and district budgets and tax revenues. Although this type of information has been available online in the past, improvements have been made, Baesler said.

The former online system provided data in formats that were difficult to find and compare, she said. The new system has graphical data that can be located and interpreted more quickly.

For example, in a few clicks, you can see that the state's public school enrollment rose 3 percent in three years—from 106,337 in 2014-15 to 109,525 in 2016-17.

To view the dashboard, visit the department's website,, or a separate website, called North Dakota Insights, at

For more information, call (701) 328-2260 or email

In other education news, David Moreno, a senior at Grand Forks Community High School, has been named the winner of the school competition for "Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest."

As the 2018 Community High School Champion, Moreno will advance to the state contest Feb. 26 at the North Dakota State Heritage Center in Bismarck.

Each champion at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship in April.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program, presented in partnership with the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. It encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

In the competition at Community High School, students recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. Their performances were judged based on criteria that included the quality of the voice and articulation, evidence of understanding and accuracy.