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The Mass EduData Challenge


Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM - Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 9:30 PM (EDT)

The Mass EduData Challenge

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2014 Mass EduData Challenge
Visualizing, Exploring, & Informing the Future of Massachusetts Elementary & Secondary School Education

Elementary and secondary school education in Massachusetts– as a top priority of the Commonwealth - is funded annually at both the state and municipal levels. It represents an essential milestone for nearly 75,000 new graduates annually, and drives a crucial pillar of the Commonwealth’s 21st century economy.

The Mission

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) maintains extensive data sets on education from all of the state’s 351 cities and towns and is seeking to spark additional engagement and innovation around its data through the launch of the Mass EduData Challenge-  a six week competition aimed at engaging the public in viewing, analyzing, and visualizing Massachusetts educational data to produce new insights, tools, and opportunities to improve outcomes and drive social benefit in the Commonwealth.

Visualizations and insights produced through the Mass EduData Challenge hold the potential to impact the awareness and understanding of education data across the Commonwealth, helping to inform and drive decisions around funding, achievement, equity, and future policies.

The data is available now and the Mass EduData Challenge will official kick-off on Wednesday, May 28th with a “Team Building & Mentoring Event” hosted at hack/reduce – the Cambridge, MA based community “hackerspace”. At the event, participants will be encouraged to review the data, connect and consult with domain experts, and begin to form both their teams and the foundation for their ideas for eventual submission.

The data challenge is designed to encourage participants to choose their own most compelling “lens“ through which to analyze the data, which may include: illustrating relationships involving funding, tests scores, or distribution and predictability of educational outcomes.

Core Datasets 

Accountability Report - Summary of accountability data for public schools and districts.

Advanced Placement Participation - Count of students who took one or more an Advanced Placement exams for each subject.

Advanced Placement Performance - Count of students who received each possible score on the Advanced Placement exam for each subject.

AMAO Report - Summary of annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAOs) for LEP students in public school districts receiving federal Title III funds


C70 Foundation/Spending - Chapter 70 Foundation Budget and Net School Spending Trends

Class Size by Gender and Selected Populations - Count of classes and average class size for each subject by gender, Limited English Proficient and Low Income.

Class Size by Race/Ethnicity - Count of classes and average class size for each subject by race/ethnicity

Collaborative Level of Need - Collaborative Level of Need

Ed Prep Candidate Enrollment

Ed Prep Employment by Prog Char - Ed Prep Employment by Prog Char

Ed Prep Employment by Program - Ed Prep Employment by Program

Ed Prep Employment by Year - Ed Prep Employment by Year

Ed Prep MTEL Pass Rates

Ed Prep Program Completers - Ed Prep Program Completers

Ed Prep Staff by Race/Gender - Ed Prep Faculty Race and Gender

Educator Evaluation Data - Educator Evaluation Performance

Enrollment by Grade - Count of students by grade, including pre-kindergarten (PK), kindergarten (K) and special education beyond grade 12 (SP).

Enrollment by Kindergarten - Enrollment by Kindergarten

Enrollment by Race/Gender - Percent of public school students by race and gender.

Enrollment by Selected Population - Count and percent of public school students in subgroups First Language Not English (FNLE), Limited English Proficient (LEP), Special Education, Low-Income, Free Lunch and Reduced Lunch

Grades Offered By District

Graduates Attending Higher Ed.

Graduation Rates - Percent of students who graduate with a regular high school diploma within 4 or 5 years by student group.

In/Out of District FTE - In-District and Out-of-District FTE Average Membership


MCAS Achievement Results - Percent of students at each performance level by grade and subject.

MCAS Open Response Items - MCAS Open Response Items

MCAS Participation - Number and percent of students participating in the MCAS by each grade, subject and subgroup.

MCAS Test Item Analysis - Average test item score, percent of students answering items correctly, percent of responses for each choice, and the correct multiple-choice answer.

Mobility Rate Report - Students transferring into or out of public schools, districts or the state.

Non-Public School Report - A list of enrollment by grade for non-public schools.

Per Pupil Expenditure

Plans of High School Grads

SAT Performance

School Attending Children - A list of the counts of students attending each type of school by town.

Special Education Results

Staffing Age Report

Staffing Data by Race/ Ethnicity and Gender

Student Discipline - Student Discipline data is reported from the Student Safety and Discipline Report (SSDR)

Student Indicators

Teacher Data Report

Teacher Grade and Subject Report - Full time equivalent (FTE) count and percent of teachers for each subject and at each grade range.

Teacher Program Area - Full time equivalent (FTE) count and percent of teachers in General Education, Special Education, Career & Vocational Education amd English Language Learning.

Teacher Salaries - Salary total, full time equivalent (FTE) count and average teacher salary by district.

Technology - Number of students for every "modern" computer and the percent of classrooms with Internet access.

Judging Criteria

  • Use of Core Data
    Has the project used the core data provided for the data challenge in an interesting way? Does the visualization present compelling correlations? Does the visualization suggest actionable insights?
  • Use of Comparative Data Sources
    Has the project incorporated comparative data provided for the data challenge in an interesting way?
  • Interactivity
    Is the visualization interactive? Can the public readily engage with the data?
  • Usability
    Is this visualization immediately useful? Is it easy to learn and navigate the content?
  • Aesthetic Design
    Is the data presented in an aesthetic, effective, and imaginative way?


Best use of data
$ 1,500
The project with the best use of core and comparative data. The data represented is useful, insightful, and actionable insights can be derived.

Most visually compelling
$ 1,500

Crowd Favorite

$ 1,000

Collaboarative Data Contribution

$ 500


Automatic placement into HubSpot Jumpstart: A Scholarship Program for seed-stage startups. Qualification requirements waived and reduced fee for participation

     Learn Launch

A startup strategy session with Jean Hammond and Eileen Rudden - Angel Investors



Sponsor Representatives:



To be eligible for a prize, data visualization projects:

  • Particpants must be 18 years or older, or accompanied by a parent.
  • Must be open sourced following the event
  • Must not include proprietary code that would limit the use by members of the Department of Education
  • Must incorporate some or all of the core data sets as listed on Github 
  • Any other data sets used during the challenge must also be publicly available


Submissions must include: 

  • A link to the data visualization on a website, or screen shots of the visualization
  • The code accompanying the visualization


Have questions about The Mass EduData Challenge? Contact hack/reduce
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When & Where

275 Third St
Cambridge, MA 02142

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM - Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 9:30 PM (EDT)

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The Mass EduData Challenge
Cambridge, MA Events Game

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