Education Department launches open government tool

Monday - 6/21/2010, 4:00pm EDT

By Rachel Stevens
Federal News Radio

The Education Department has launched its pilot for data.ed.gov, an online tool for monitoring education data and funding.

The program comes as a part of the Obama administration's ongoing Open Government Initiative.

It features information about the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), a competitive educational grant program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The site allows the public to review applicant information and compile data for analysis.

The program can also generate maps, graphs, and charts based on requested data. Advanced users can download data for future use. According to a press release, the initiative is intended to "make the grant-making process more transparent to the public . . . by providing substantial amounts of easily-accessible data about applications, applicants, and their partners." But it also plans to secure private and proprietary information.

"The public has the right to know more about the efforts we consider funding, what programs and projects we do fund, and what outcomes we are achieving with those efforts," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan in a statement. "Data.edu.gov extends our commitment to transparency and provides additional tools that allow the public to analyze ED's investments."

The department says the pilot program will be expanded over time. It is currently asking for feedback.

Rachel Stevens is an intern for Federal News Radio.

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