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NCLB Outrages

How Entrepreneurialism Provides Instant Access to School Quality

Ohanian Comment:
Here's the news item that set me off:

Parents, Policymakers and Community Leaders in Wyoming Gain Instant Access to Powerful Student Achievement Data and Analysis

NEW YORK, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents in Wyoming can now easily determine how their child's school compares to other schools in Wyoming and whether they need to take action to improve their child's education. The School Information Partnership (SIP) announced today that student achievement data from all public schools in Wyoming are now available instantly online at http://www.schoolresults.org/.

Oh my oh my. We have instant meals; why not instant data judging every school in America?


The Broad Foundation describes itself as an entrepreneurial philanthropic organization. For a fuller description of the activities of Eli Broad, see, Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? by Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian.

Here's the spin offered by The School Information Partnership, whose members include The Broad Foundation, Standard and Poor's, National Center for Educational Accountability, and the U. S. Department of Education. If you want to know if your state participates, go to the url at the bottom.

The School Information Partnership is a public-private collaboration designed to empower parents, educators and policymakers to use the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) data to make informed decisions and improve school results. Standard & Poor's created the website which includes a suite of interactive analytical tools from Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services and the National Center for Educational Accountability's Just for the Kids. For schools, districts and states across the nation, the website will display available data required to be publicly reported under NCLB. This initiative is funded by The Broad Foundation and U.S. Department of Education.

Here is their Q & A page:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the School Information Partnership?

The School Information Partnership is a public-private initiative focused on giving all education stakeholders information and analytical resources that will help them use education data to make informed decisions and improve student achievement. The initiative has two distinct but related phases. This document focuses on the first phase. Phase II will be announced in the near future.

Q: What are the goals for the School Information Partnership?

The School Information Partnership has three main goals:

To empower parents, educators and policy makers with a set of analytical tools that help them use data to inform their education decisions;

To further the national dialogue on improving academic progress and student results; and

To help all states and districts meet the report card requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Q: What is delivered in Phase I?
Phase I involves the creation of a public website (www.SchoolResults.org) designed to empower parents, educators and policy makers to use the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) data to improve student learning. Phase I will launch in January 2004 with the first group of states. In summer 2004, all of the available and relevant NCLB data for the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia will be displayed on the website. Phase I brings together a unique suite of analytical tools from Just For The Kids and Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services to help people understand, compare and project school, district and state progress.

Q: How does SIP help states and districts comply with the NCLB Report Card Requirements?

The U.S. Department of Education has determined that the reporting of state and district data through the SIP will fulfill the NCLB report card mandates, as long as states supply the necessary data to the SIP in a timely fashion.

Q: Is the SIP different from what states are currently doing with data in-house?

Yes. The tools and analysis provided by the SIP are intended to complement states' data infrastructure and analytical efforts. The SIP is not meant to replace existing state data warehousing and collection capabilities, nor is the SIP designed to provide states with a data infrastructure.

While states may have already built a NCLB reporting data infrastructure, the SIP provides states with a suite of analytical tools to advance states' current data collection and analyses in two unique ways: (1) by providing independent analysis of state data, free of partisan bias, and (2) by synthesizing academic, financial and demographic data to help states and districts understand and improve their Return on ResourcesTM (Phase II).

Q: Who are the Public/Private Partners?
Standard & Poor's and Just For The Kids are working together to launch Phase I with funding from The Broad Foundation and The U.S. Department of Education.

Q: What does state "participation" in the SIP mean?

The SIP will display and analyze data for all 50 states, Puerto Rico and District of Columbia, gathered from publicly available sources. However, each state will be invited to actively participate in the SIP by supplying more current or additional data indicators to be displayed and analyzed by the SIP.

Q: What will participation in the SIP cost the states?

States do not have to make any financial commitment to participate in the School Information Partnership.

One of the primary tenets of the SIP is to minimize the burden placed on state data personnel. The SIP partners will collect data primarily from publicly available sources and third parties that already collect education data. States will be invited to supplement that collection with more current or additional data indicators. Furthermore, the SIP system can accept data in a multitude of file types, including (but not limited to) Access, Excel, SAS, and flat files. Therefore, state data personnel generally will not have to reformat data before submitting them for display on the SIP and/or SES websites.

Q: Will states be required to collect more data than they currently collect to participate in the SIP?

The School Information Partnership website (www.SchoolResults.org) will display and analyze only the data states are now obligated to collect and publicly report under the NCLB Act.

Q: Will SIP's data collection efforts be coordinated with other data collection activities?

Yes. To the greatest extent possible, this initiative will attempt to leverage data collection efforts already underway in order to avoid burdening states with duplicate data requests. For example, the majority of the data being requested for SIP Phase I is a subset of the data being collected by the U.S. Department of Education's Performance Based Data Management Initiative (PBDMI). PBDMI staff have agreed that with states' permission, PBDMI will share their 2002-03 data collection with the SIP partners.

Q: Will there be state-to-state comparisons?

Statewide data will be available for comparison across states and to other reasonable benchmarks such as NAEP. However, the website tools will only facilitate the comparison of districts and schools within a state.

Q: Why are SIP's funders investing in this initiative?

The No Child Left Behind Act requires public reporting of a large amount of data. This website assists schools, districts and states with that task. Additionally, the SIP website helps all education stakeholders go the next step and use the No Child Left Behind data to make informed decisions about student performance.

By providing states with this service, the funders also aim to:

Effectively lower the cost barriers for states to access sophisticated independent data analysis; and

Quickly build a common national platform for viewing and using education data.

Q: How will this website be funded in future years?

As an entrepreneurial philanthropic organization, The Broad Foundation is committed to leading a partnership to jumpstart the provision of this unique assistance for states. By taking the upfront financial risk necessary to roll these services out to the entire country at once, the SIP's funders hope to quickly add value to states' efforts to improve student performance.

Based upon the usefulness, value and necessity of this website to the general public, the funders fully expect that an ongoing source of funding will be found.

Q: Who should you contact for further information?

Pia Saengswang is the project manager for the Broad Foundation and can be reached at 310-954-5050 or via e-mail at ps@broadfoundation.org

John Bailey is the project manager for the Department of Education and can be reached at 202-205-4280 or via e-mail at john.bailey@ed.gov

Mike Hudson is the National Field Director for National Center for Educational Accountability and can be reached at 303-661-9996 or via e-mail at mikehudson113@msn.com

Jackie Lain is the Director of Public Affairs for Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services and can be reached at 202-383-3708 or via e-mail at Jackie_Lain@sandp.com


— The Broad Foundation



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