An interactive data story about the Romanian educational system over the past 12 years. This story focuses on the various reforms and changes that have occurred in the education system during this time period, and how they have impacted the performance of students. The innovation in this particular story is the 3 granular maps representing school-level exam results in 2 Romanian counties and the capital city.
The micro level representation maps of Iasi, Cluj, and Bucharest had a significant impact on how people in Romania understand exam results. Both children and parents were drawn to viewing the results for each school, as it was the first time such maps were created in Romania on this topic
Python, Flourish.studio, Affinity Designer
Context about the project:
In the Romanian education system, the only assessment tools for students are the exams organized at the end of the 8th grade, the high school entrance exam, and the exit exam for high school graduation (Bacalaureat). The results of these 3 exams are sets of data that reflect students’ preparation and competencies. However, these data sets aren’t really used by public authorities to develop performance barometers, time analysis, and ultimately consistent strategy both on a national and local level. These data sets are published as lists immediately after the results are available and are stored for a maximum of 3 years on a public website. As such, any form of analysis, comparison, or temporal reference does not exist. This data project was meant as a tool for authorities, media, teachers, children, and parents in Bucharest, Cluj and Iasi, to better understand school performance in a visual way.
What can other journalists learn from this project?
Education is a large part of society and building custom analytics tools to better understand it is a responsibility not just of authorities, but also of data journalists and data practitioners.