Foundation announces 3-year grant partnership with Urban Institute

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on the Cloudera Foundation websiteIn April 2021, the Cloudera Foundation merged with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and we are continuing to work with the Urban Institute.

July 29, 2020

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In fall 2019, the Cloudera Foundation conducted a technical workshop in Washington, D.C., with the Urban Institute to explore a potential collaboration.

New collaboration will advance Urban’s Education Data Portal and democratize access to educational data

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 29, 2020 – The Cloudera Foundation has selected its newest Data4Change grantee and project: the Urban Institute, in support of its Education Data Portal.

“We are excited to work alongside the team at the Urban Institute on the next stage of development for its Education Data Portal,” said Claudia Juech, Cloudera Foundation’s CEO and President. “COVID-19 has pulled back the covers on a range of unjust disparities that have existed for too long, educational inequality among the highest on that list. This portal brings together the most comprehensive collection of educational datasets across the U.S. and makes it easy to run comparisons between schools, districts or colleges, generating actionable insights to improve student outcomes.”

The Urban Institute stood out among other potential grantees for its strong track record in using data effectively. “The Urban Institute has demonstrated time and again how to truly inform public policy with data,” Juech said. “The Education Data Portal project builds upon that success as well as Urban’s vision on data-driven decision-making for impact.”

The Education Data Portal provides access to billions of data points from more than 30 datasets covering a wide range of education policy. More important, the hub makes data from different sources comparable by harmonizing formats and definitions of indicators, allowing researchers, principals and other users to look at trends and combine data across sets. Examples of the featured data sources include Common Core of Data (U.S. Department of Education’s primary database on public elementary and secondary education), The Civil Rights Data Collection (equity and access data from U.S. public schools), and Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) (school-age children in poverty for 13,000+ school districts).

With the Cloudera Foundation as a technical partner, the Urban Institute will be able to implement the data infrastructure with the ability to fulfill data requests or power data visualizations in seconds.

“As a result of the Foundation’s investment, any user, regardless of technical expertise, will be able to quickly and easily visualize data, make comparisons, and use evidence to drive better student outcomes.” – Graham MacDonald, Chief Data Scientist, Urban Institute

“As a result of the Foundation’s investment, any user, regardless of technical expertise, will be able to quickly and easily visualize data, make comparisons, and use evidence to drive better student outcomes,” said Graham MacDonald, Chief Data Scientist at Urban Institute. “Anyone — policymakers, advocates, nonprofits, journalists, and others — will be equipped to use the data to advance public good.”

The Cloudera Foundation and Urban Institute have launched a 3-year partnership. In addition to $750,000 in grant support, Urban Institute will receive in-kind software licenses, training and technical support from Cloudera Foundation data technologists as well as Cloudera Inc. professionals. The value of the in-kind technology and services exceeds $400,000.

Urban Institute becomes the Cloudera Foundation’s third Data4Change grantee since the foundation’s creation three years ago. The first two are Terre des Hommes and AidData. (Read about their projects on the Cloudera Foundation Blog.) Data4Change grants are deeply involved multi-year partnerships, with Cloudera Foundation staff regularly working alongside the nonprofit’s staff to implement complex data projects.

The Cloudera Foundation’s investment will augment existing support for the Education Data Portal, which has come from the Overdeck Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Arnold Ventures, and Amazon Web Services.

About Urban Institute The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector.