Arlington County Schools seek to lower dropout rate using data

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Arlington County school officials are turning to number crunchers to examine student data and look for ways to keep children from dropping out of school.

The Washington Post reports school officials plan to select about 10 teams of data scientists to compete and search for previously unknown trends that could improve student outcomes. The most promising results could win a $10,000 prize.

Arlington schools partnered with San Francisco-based startup to use its online platform for data-mining contests. The award money is funded by the California-based CK-12 Foundation.

Arlington school officials say data for the project will not include identifying information about students. Data users also will be required to keep the information secure.

The move comes as educators are increasingly using data to help improve classroom instruction.