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A fresh look for the state's education Web site

Yesterday when I wasn’t able to log on to the State Education Department’s Web site, I assumed the site’s server was as antiquated as its look and feel.

But today I learned that the downtime was actually the result of a makeover. In a video message, Commissioner Richard Mills says the department wants to have a “world-class, cutting-edge Web site” because “our society has embraced the Web as a powerful way to exchange information and ideas.”

Right now the new look doesn’t go much deeper than the front page. Further inside the site, many pages still look like they haven’t been updated since the 1990s. Changes to those pages will come over the next several months, Mills says, and the department will take into account public feedback sent by e-mail as it continues the redesign.

When the city Department of Education relaunched its site a year and a half ago, it added a number of new features such as a one-stop human resources shop and an intermittent question-and-answer feature. But some users have complained that the upgraded site is not user-friendly.

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