Yesterday we were comparing the performance of schools in the UK, today we have a project with a very similar aim, but then focused on schools located in the US. It therefore might be interesting to explore the differences between the two approaches.
The Education Nation Scorecard [greatschools.org] by Ben Fry's Fathom Information Design aims to provide easily understandable information about performance at individual schools, as well as in districts, states, and the nation as a whole. Each school is compared by various parameters, including the rate of how many students pass the state standardized tests, how the district the school is located in performs in relation to the rest of the state, and how the states benchmark themselves.
While its design here has more interactive features, the Education Nation Scorecard interface is mainly focused on presenting minimalistic diagrams and maps. Unless I miss a specific option, it is almost impossible to directly choose and contrast neighboring schools with each other, for instance to allow parents to make a more informed choice about where to send their children to school. Oh, except of the short list below the title "How many students pass state standardized tests?" that contains sone statistics of the last schools that were handpicked by the user.
The scorecard website was also featured on the Today Show last week, which can be watched below.