Yesterday, Delaware Governor Jack Markell issued Executive Order #57 to make state data more transparent and available to the public. The Delaware Open Data Council, consisting of the Secretaries of the Delaware’s State Agencies, will make recommendations for what kind of data will be available on this new portal available to the public. Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky, or his representative, will serve on this council. These are the kinds of documents I would like to see on this Open Data Portal:
- All Delaware Department of Education vendors, contracts, change orders, and funds sent to the vendor. This would include any and all companies the DOE sends funds to that may not necessarily have a contract, such as The Rodel Foundation of Delaware. All testing contracts should definitely be on this Open Data Portal.
- All documents, including emails, sent to or received from the United States Department of Education. This would include any ESEA documents.
- Any document pertaining to the outflow of student data to any State agency or outside company.
- All district and charter school bullying and discipline reports, regardless of the controversial n#.
- All DOE and State Board of Education documents, including appendices, going back to the creation of the Department of Education.
- Any and all emails, meetings, and documents coming to or from the Delaware Governor’s office in regards to education.
I’m sure I can think of more, but this is just a start.
A few months ago, Delaware came in 49th place in a ranking of Open Government and the ability of states to be transparent. Markell himself got quite a bit of heat after the disclosure of his private email, the infamous Alan Jackson account. Delaware citizens should not have to submit FOIAs at their own time and expense to get information that should be readily available to the public.
I also think the General Assembly should have representation on the Open Data Council. While the House Education Committee is very good about posting minutes of their meetings, the Senate Education Committee doesn’t do it at all. The public has a right to see this information.
To read Markell’s Executive Order, please see below.