My School
Design Challenge

Learn More About the My School Information Design Challenge!

The modern information age has led to unprecedented, around-the-clock access to information at our fingertips.

Today, we search online for choices to everyday questions, and conduct some level of research before making most decisions. Quick, simple access to useful information online has transformed the way we perform tasks ranging from perusing movie reviews before dropping $10 at the box office to spending thousands of dollars on a new vehicle. Few people plan a vacation without visiting TripAdvisor or a similar site. Many don’t choose a restaurant before checking in with Zagat’s or Yelp. Yet, our education system forces most parents to send their children to a school without having a clear understanding of that school’s strengths and weaknesses.

Prizes have a record of spurring innovation and attracting creative solutions to pressing challenges. The My School Information Design Challenge was launched as a national competition to rethink and redesign the way in which school performance data is presented so that it is more accessible and more actionable for parents, policymakers and the public at large. The competition offered prizes totaling up to $35,000 for designers who employed the latest strategies in data visualization to effectively reimagine the appearance, presentation and usability of school report cards.


In order to provide transparent information to the public and improve student performance, the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that all states publish an annual report card for each school in the state. However, presenting complex student and school performance data in a format that meets federal and state requirements, is accessible across multiple platforms, and is user-friendly is an incredibly difficult task. State departments of education across the country are grappling with this issue and need our support.

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) launched this design challenge in partnership with Getting Smart and Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart and past president of the X PRIZE Foundation in an effort to provide parents and policymakers with useful information about a school’s strengths and weaknesses and to inform strategies to improve education.

Call To Action

Graphic designers have a unique ability to take data, transform it, rethink the way it can be visualized and, through this design, make it more valuable and usable.

On September 18th 2014, designers were asked to submit a design presentation that showcases a redesigned school report card using a sample data set. Eligible report card design entries were required to include:

  • Improvements to the visualization of information in a school report card;
  • Innovative ways to give parents intuitive, easy-to-understand and  actionable school performance information; and
  • A design that would increase the use and accessibility of school report cards by leveraging Web and mobile applications.

The submissions were judged by an expert panel and a select few were sent on to public voting in four categories:

  • Best Summary
  • Best Comparison
  • Best User Experience
  • Best Trend Data

Read the My School Information Design Challenge brief to learn more about why report cards matter and the design challenges we are attempting to solve.

What's Next?

There’s a lot to be learned from the results of the design challenge.

Review the most significant findings, lessons learned, implications and opportunities for states in Building State Capacity for Powerful School Information: Results of the My School Info Design Challenge. ExcelinEd launched the challenge to increase access to more valuable school-level information and received a number of great submissions. But the work is not yet done. State leaders should review the closing brief to learn more about the key design elements of an effective school report card and contact the ExcelinEd advocacy for additional support. We’re eager to help states build their capacity to improve their school report cards.

Winning Submissions

First Place

Collaborative Communications + Social Driver

Team Lead: Chris Given

First Place

Second Place


Team Lead: Omid Jahanbin

Second Place

Public Voting Favorites

Best Summary

HD Web Studio

Team Lead: Melany Stowe

Best Summary View Full Submission

Best Comparison


Team Lead: Omid Jahanbin

Best Comparison View Full Submission
Best User Experience View Full Submission
Best Trend Data View Full Submission

Additional Top Submissions

View Full Submission
View Full Submission


Team Lead: Ellen Sitkin

View Full Submission

Tim Jones & Steven Flythe

Team Lead: Steven Flythe

View Full Submission


Team Lead: Christy Papa

View Full Submission
View Full Submission


Genevieve Gorder
Duncan Swain
Sandy Speicher
Byron V. Garrett
Leslie Ziegler
Andrew Rotherham
M. Jackson Wilkinson
Terry Grier
Bill Jackson
Aimee Rogstad Guidera
Chris Minnich
Jeremy Anderson
Dr. Barbara Jenkins
Kenneth L. Campbell

Join the conversation on Twitter with #schoolinfo!


Contact Us

If you’re a member of the press, please contact [email protected] for more information.

For policy support, please contact [email protected].

For general inquiries, please contact [email protected].