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Duncan's Data Road Map

The Feds are pouring millions into data systems to track test scores. And here's what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says about it: Data gives us a road map. It tells us where we are, where we need to go and who is at risk. Data helps expose the good, the bad and the ugly about our current state of education.

Furthermore, Duncan say, "Tracking student progress from birth through college helps teachers in the classroom." We should challenge him to name one teacher who feels helped by this. One teacher or one parent or one child.

Notice that not one so-called news account bothers to find one person to speak against this data madness. They just publish what amounts to press releases from corporate politicos and the bureaucratic flunkies.

A total of $250 million was awarded this year in the grant competition. Winners included Arkansas, $9.8 million; Colorado, $17.4 million; Florida, $10 million; Illinois, $11.9 million; Kansas, $9.1 million; Maine, $7.3 million; Massachusetts, $13 million; Michigan, $10.6 million; Minnesota, $12.4 million; Mississippi, $7.6 million; New York, $19.7 million; Ohio, $5.1 million; Oregon, $10.5 million; Pennsylvania, $14.3 million; South Carolina, $14.9 million; Texas, $18.2 million; Utah, $9.6 million; Virginia, $17.5 million; Washington, $17.3 million; and Wisconsin, $13.8 million.

Colorado gets millions for education data system
By Jeremy P. Meyer
The Denver Post

Colorado won a $17.4 million federal grant to build a statewide data system that will link information about public school students from the time they enter preschool to when they graduate from college.

The grant was announced at noon by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Colorado was one of 20 states to share $250 million in stimulus funds intended to support the development of systems that link data across time and databases, from early childhood into careers, including matching teachers to students, according to the Institute of Education Sciences.

The student data will be kept private.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands applied for the grants. Colorado's was the fourth largest grant.

"This is really important for Colorado," said Richard Wenning, Colorado's associate education commissioner.

"There are two things we can do with this data," Wenning said. "One, by connecting all of those dots, we will have a much better understanding of our education system. Two, we will be able to answer critical questions of what is working and what is not."

The announcement of the grant comes a day after Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a bill that calls for student academic data to be linked to teacher performance evaluations.

This grant will help Colorado achieve its ambitious P-20 education reform agenda by providing comprehensive data that will be used to prepare students to succeed in college and a career, according to a press release from the governor's office.

"This Recovery Act grant provides a critical component of Colorado's education reforms that we have been spearheading over the last few years through a strong collaboration with stakeholders in the Colorado education community," Ritter said in a press release. "By establishing a statewide data system of this scale, we will be able to track student progress in a way that has never been done before and then use this data to create a world-class education system that prepares our students for success in the global workforce."

Ks. receives ed data grant
By Barbara Hollingsworth Topeka Capital Journal
May 21, 2010

Kansas will receive $9.1 million to help fund a statewide data system that will better measure the progress of students.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced that Kansas is one of 20 states receiving a piece of $250 million in grants to develop a longitudinal data system funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Data gives us a road map," Duncan said. "It tells us where we are, where we need to go and who is at risk. Data helps expose the good, the bad and the ugly about our current state of education."

A longitudinal data system has long been a priority in Kansas. One of the concerns about data reported through the federal No Child Left Behind Act has been that it focuses on groups of students that change from year to year.

State officials have talked about preferring a system that would allow them to track the growth of individuals as they move through the system, and improved data collection would be an essential component of that. The state made steps toward a comprehensive statewide data system with the implementation of the Kansas Individual Data System (KIDS) in the fall of 2005.

Duncan said the idea is to create and implement systems that will allow states to follow student progress from early childhood to career, including matching teachers to students. At the same time, student privacy and confidentiality are to be protected.

Improving the quality of data, he said, is essential to judging improvement efforts, identifying the best teachers, helping teachers spot students falling behind, aiding principals in evaluating curriculum and turning around low-performing schools.

"Tracking student progress from birth through college helps teachers in the classroom, helps principals manage and improve their schools, and helps parents better understand the unique educational needs of their child," said Duncan. "It's one of the core reforms at the heart of our agenda, and we are eager to work with states to put these systems in place."

The first State Longitudinal Data Systems grants were awarded in 2005, and they are independent of the Race to the Top grants that the Kansas State Board of Education has decided to stop pursuing after being denied in the first round.

Wisconsin wins $13.8 million grant to track students
Four years of funding will help officials follow students from preschool through college
By Amy Hetzner
Journal Sentinel
May 22, 2010

Wisconsin has been awarded $13.8 million to expand a data system to track student progress from preschool through college, the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday.

Wisconsin was one of 20 states to be awarded a grant for its data system, funded out of $250 million in federal stimulus dollars, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a phone conference with reporters.

Duncan praised the use of data in helping to improve schools and education.

"Data helps expose the good, the bad and the ugly about the state of our education," he said. "Ultimately, data will tell us whether we meet the president's goal of leading the world in college completion by the end of the decade in 2020."

Wisconsin schools superintendent Tony Evers said the four-year grant would be used to improve the exchange of information between K-12 schools and higher education institutions. It also will be used to incorporate teacher licensing and early childhood program information to help measure the impact of a variety of factors on student learning.

"We have ambitious plans for data collection and research to drive improved student achievement in Wisconsin, and this grant will help us move forward on those efforts," Evers said in a statement.

States were chosen to receive the competitive grants based on their need for the projects, their goals and outcomes, activities and timelines, according to an Education Department press release.

The federal government has provided such grants previously, but this year's grants are larger because the requirements have been expanded to include pre-kindergarten, post-secondary and workforce data.

State gets $17.3 million federal grant to track student data
Associated Press
News Tribune
May 21, 2010

OLYMPIA, Wash.--

Thanks to a $17.3 million grant from the federal government, Washington education officials will soon be able to track students from pre-school to college and their first job.

Washington is one of 20 states to win federal stimulus money for a statewide data system.

Gov. Chris Gregoire says the money will help state officials better understand the needs of the its young people and will help Washington improve education quality.

Washington already tracks students from kindergarten through 12th grade and colleges and preschools have their own tracking systems. Now the three systems will be joined. Besides looking at test scores over time, researchers will be able to examine topics such as dropout rates and the impact of early education.

An exploration of student privacy also is part of the project.

— multiple authors
multiple papers


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