A new data tool from the state aims to make it easier for families to access school information.
The Indiana Department of Education rolled out the new data portal, called INview, late last month, spurred by federal school transparency laws as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Spokesperson Adam Baker says it includes data previously not available on the site's predecessor, Compass. The new site features school and corporation level data on student discipline, teacher experience and demographics, and school financial information.
"At the end of the day nothing beats walking into a school and talking to staff and getting to understand that climate firsthand," he says. "But if you've got really good data that you can begin that search ... that's sort of our step and what we want to do."
But Baker says the department added other features not required by the federal government, including a school mapping and comparison tool. He says it's supposed to be more user-friendly so families moving around the state can research schools they might send their kids to.
"You can go in and compare up to three schools directly. So whether or not you want to look at them, you know, maybe they have similar demographics and you want to look at sort of how they play out," he says.
INview's more modern, cleaner look means not all information from the old site will be featured there, like graduation rate data from the past decade. But Baker says that information and more, can still be found through the department's regular website.