Students for Urban Data Systems

at Carnegie Mellon University

DataBurst 1: School Improvement funds allocations


We’re trying out our first data-driven introductory activity for our hacknight! This is meant to be interactive and fast-paced, so think conceptually and implement whatever you have time for. If you use any neat data tools, see if you can’t get a very quick demo to show off using this data set.


Google Drive version:

The spreadsheet document (*.xlsx) contains tables. The first tab called is called SchoolImprovementGrantsByDistrict and it lists the total payout by district as part of their 2010 disbursement. Consider this data a reflection of the US Federal government’s education spending priorities.

The next four tab contains test score data from the NAEP tests, which is the only randomized, norms-referenced test administered in the USA and the only one appropriate for interstate academic progress comparisons. You have four different breakdowns of the NAEP averages by state. The most straightforward is a public school student average.

Imagine you’re working on the Hill and have been given an urgent request to any or all of these questions for the rep’s upcoming meeting with a radical left-wing education interest group.

This interest group is claiming that the Federal government is spending most of its improvement money on relatively affluent states which are also states with the highest relative mathematics achievement.

Determine one preliminary conclusion WITH an accompanying image for your boss.

Ready, set, GO!



CMU Leadership team: external relations

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