Join Us For Chicago City Data User Group — Chicago Public Schools Data

| Adam J. Hecktman


There are very few data sets that elicit are more personal and emotional response than those that revolve around education. Education systems are a foundational component of urban life, and they pump out valuable data. Education data can help inform (where is our elementary school? ), guide action (how are the reading scores at my school?), and inspire (what are teens reading these days?).

Chicago is rich in education data. There are over 50 data sets on education in the city’s data portal alone. Recently, a colleague in another major metro asked me to help him pull together a number of school performance metrics. He didn’t know where to access things like attendance data, suspension data, math score data, and overall performance rankings. His goal was to get this together in a single query.

I told him just to go to his city’s data portal and pull down the school performance report. His response was “well, that is what I am trying to create”. I was confused, so I fired up Skype and showed him Chicago’s Chicago Public Schools – Elementary School Progress Report datasets. I could hear him seethe with jealousy on the other end of the Skype. So suffice it to say, again…Chicago is rich in education data.

Now the questions become: what data is actually out there and how is it being used? That is what we will answer at the Chicago City Data User Group meet up on Chicago Public Schools Data. On November 4th, at 6:00pm at the Microsoft Technology Center Chicago, we will host three speakers who have done some incredible work around education data:

  • John DiCello: John is the Director of Data Solutions for CPS, where he has served for over 7 years. John will talk about data-driven initiatives out of CPS that are being used today, as well as some projects that they are working on to support the future of our schools.
  • Josh Kalov: Josh Kalov is well known for his work with county data and data visualizations. He became a focal point in the civic tech community with his work around school cuts data, which he will discuss. He will also discuss his more recent budget and school utilization visualizations.
  • Tom Bunting: Tom is a Data Associate with Ingenuity. Ingenuity is the only organization out there collecting and tracking data on arts instruction within CPS. They combine that data with data around arts institutions in and around the neighborhoods to bring arts education back to the schools in an integrated way.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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Adam J. Hecktman

You may recognize Adam. He’s a regular on TV, you can hear him on the radio, he’s penned numerous articles and is the co-founder of the Chicago City Data Users Group. But some of Adam’s most important work is done behind the scenes in his role as Microsoft’s Director of Technology and Civic Engagement for Chicago. Tech giants, universities and government leaders turn to Adam for guidance on all matters technology, and he happily obliges, helping Chicago overcome challenges and capitalizing on new, exciting opportunities.