Want to find out how your school system's per-pupil spending compares with other districts across the state? Or would you rather compare achievement test scores? If you live in Pennsylvania you can do both, via the Internet. It's a development that citizens interested in education and the maximum return on their tax dollars should applaud.
In announcing the new system on Monday, Pennsylvania Education Secretary Eugene Hickok said that before the state set up the home page, citizens seeking local statistics - items ranging from district finances to test scores - had to first petition the local district. If the information was refused, the next step was writing to the state education department for a copy.
Hickok didn't say this, but unless you made multiple requests, it was next to impossible to evaluate whether your own district was scoring well (or spending more) as compared to the other school districts.