I spent some time over the weekend testing out a graduation rate tool provided by edweek.org. I like to think of the tool as a weaker version of Google Earth, except this tool only provides information on graduation rates. In fact, I'd venture to say Google Earth will likely be adding this sort of data set to their already extensive database, providing a better mapping feature than Ed Week.
Even then, I found the tool wasn't quite as effective or innovative as marketed. It's worth a look, of course, and you can access the tool here.
An excerpt from Ed Week about their tool:
The EPE Research Center calculated graduation rates for each district, as well as every state and the nation as a whole, using data from a single federal data set. The Cumulative Promotion Index, developed by Research Center director Christopher Swanson, estimates the probability that a student in the 9th grade will complete high school on time with a regular diploma.
Perhaps something to get more excited about is this quote from Ed Week:
In June 2007, the EPE Research Center will launch the next generation of this online mapping technology, which will bring new and more extensive information on graduation rates to the public.
Will their next generation tool match the ease of use of Google Earth? And will they improve their "custom research reports" so that they're better organized and more relevant? I guess we'll find out in June...