Michigan education department launches the Parent Dashboard

The Parent Dashboard is a website that compiles program and achievement statistics for all Michigan schools. (WWMT/Nick Minock)

For years, the State of Michigan has tracked school data, but a lot of that information hasn't been easily accessible to parents.

That ended Tuesday when the Michigan Department of Education rolled out a new website that allows parents to learn about the performance of their children's schools.

For the past six months, the education department has been working around the clock to launch the website. It’s a part of the accountability and transparency component of the federal Every Students Succeeds Act.

"This parent-designed and -developed dashboard is new for Michigan," said Veneesa Keesler, a deputy superintendent in the Michigan education department.

During the State Board of Education meeting Tuesday, Keesler's team introduced the new Parent Dashboard, and said parents can now easily research every school in Michigan and compare them to other schools.

Parents can visit the website, and click on a school to find eight key performance indicators, such as: performance; progress; graduation rates; advance course work; post-secondary enrollment; on-track attendance; English learner progress; and assessment participation. There's also other data available, such as expulsions rates, dropout rates and discipline data.

"It is very user friendly," Keesler said.

Keesler also said those interested in the site should stayed tuned, because there will be more information coming.

"One thing we know parents want to know about is extracurricular activities, before- and after-school programming," Keesler said. "That is not information we keep in state data bases, currently, so we will be collecting that information from schools, so parents can know what are the services offered at this school outside of their performance on tests or graduation rate."

Keesler also said parents had a high interest in class sizes during the development stage.

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