On June 12, 2023, the Louisiana Department of Education launched the Education Progress and Investment Charts (EPIC) dashboard. This innovative tool displays student attainment of academic goals and shows how Louisiana school systems are investing federal pandemic relief funds.
The Region 14 Comprehensive Center supported the Louisiana Department of Education through assistance with data management and communication and collaboration with the development teams at Attuned and Exponent Education to deliver an insightful and high-quality resource that brings transparency to Louisiana school systems.
Danielle Mitchell, Impact Officer at the Louisiana Department of Education, presents the Education Progress and Investment Charts (EPIC) Dashboard at a Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) meeting.
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) received funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to aid academic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the importance of this one-time infusion of funds, the LDOE sought to investigate how school systems spend the money and identify which ESSER-funded initiatives bring the best academic outcomes in alignment with the department’s six critical goals.
Boris Granovskiy, Ph.D., and the Region 14 Comprehensive Center (R14CC) team, worked in collaboration with the LDOE and developers at Attuned and Exponent Education. These partners designed the user-informed, public-facing dashboard Education Progress and Investment Charts (EPIC) containing information on:
- Student performance toward the LDOE’s six critical goals
- Progress on all of Louisiana’s state-identified priorities and initiatives
- Local education agency (LEA)-level spending of ESSER funds
Granovskiy worked with data management, data visualization, and data analytics experts from the Westat Insight team led by Kelsey Gray, M.S., to generate an automated machine learning algorithm that classifies LEAs’ ESSER investments according to categories established by R14CC and the LDOE. This algorithm allows the dashboard to be easily updated to accommodate the new spending data of the LEAs. During the course of the partnership, the team gathered user data and translated feedback into actionable improvements to the dashboard.
Boris Granovskiy and Kristen Pugh from the Region 14 Comprehensive Center demo the EPIC Dashboard for attendees at the 2023 Teacher Leader Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The LDOE will monitor usage data and ongoing user feedback to inform any improvements to data presentation and classification on the dashboard. The LDOE will also work with school system leaders to help them use ESSER investments and outcome data to inform future fiscal decisions. The R14CC team continues to work with Westat Insight to improve the ESSER investment classification algorithm to simplify future updates. In addition, R14CC and the LDOE are working toward continuous improvement by collecting and implementing user feedback. EPIC will remain an essential tool to inform decisions on whether initiatives should continue to be funded long beyond project completion.
EPIC Dashboard viewed best on a desktop or laptop computer