Public Education Partners (PEP) and Acuitas Economics recently received the 2019 InnoVision Award for Community Service for the development of InformEdsc.org. The award recognizes organizations for the development of new technology to provide products, services or processes that improve the quality of life in South Carolina communities.
“As an InnoVision Advisory Board member, I was pleased to see InformEdsc.org recognized as the 2019 Community Service Awardee,” said Dr. John Kaup, PEP Board Chair. “Consistent with the stated objectives of the award, InformEdsc represents a new product that provides one-stop access to a wealth of data on public schools, enabling South Carolina citizens to advocate for public education and thereby improve the communities in which they live.”
InformEdsc is an interactive website that allows state and local leaders, parents and other members of the community to obtain current, accurate information about K-12 public education in Greenville County and the state of South Carolina.
“In creating InformEdsc.org, the primary objective is a better-informed community and state that can more successfully engage in helping build and sustain a quality system of public schools in which all students have the opportunity to succeed,” said PEP Senior Researcher Craig Stine.
To achieve this objective, PEP enlisted the support of numerous community partners and the help of Acuitas Economics, a data analytics and economics consulting firm that specializes in public finance, education and workforce development. Acuitas Economics delivers analysis, strategy, and policy recommendations for complex economic topics to governments, agencies and nonprofits in South Carolina.
“The value of InformEdsc.org lies in its ability to synthesize data from all of these sources and provide it in a form that is both understandable and useful to a variety of stakeholders,” said Dr. Rebecca Gunnlaugsson, Principal/Economist at Acuitas Economics. “Users can both obtain a high-level view of current levels or trends over time, as well as drill down to identify information for a specific district, school or demographic and compare that data to various years or other geographies.”
InformEdsc uniquely brings together information from multiple state agencies, the federal government and local school districts. It provides both basic information and detailed data in graphical, easy-to-understand formats for comparing various statistics.
“Thriving K-12 systems have an informed and engaged community that takes a high level of responsibility for the performance of their school system,” said Stine. “School districts cannot achieve this alone, and sites such as InformEdsc.org are another tool for increasing community knowledge and involvement with public education.”