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Alaska Department of Education launches online school data tool

"The Compass: A Guide to Alaska's Public Schools" is a new online tool from the Alaska Department of Education that allows families to assess data about public schools and compare two schools. (Screengrab of education.alaska.gov/compass)

FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Department of Education has launched a tool aimed at allowing families to use their home computers to assess data about public schools.

The name of the tool is The Compass: A Guide to Alaska’s Public Schools, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

A primary goal was to present data to families in an engaging and helpful way, said Education Commissioner Michael Johnson.

The tool is an online portal available through the department website. Users can select a school and view its various data points.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has a Data Dashboard where parents can look at district data. The state tool addresses a broader field.

"It gives people the opportunity to compare schools across the state," Johnson said.

Data across multiple years is available. Users can find details on enrollment, graduation rates, test scores, student demographics and teacher qualifications. They can select up to two schools to compare data.

The department announced the portal Monday.

"This is just the start. We want to continue working on the website," Johnson said.

The department will update data as it receives new information and will review feedback to determine how the portal will be shaped.

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