New York’s Long Term Plans for Student Data-Mining: The P-20 Project

This sounds all conspiracy theory, but here goes. New York State wants as much data about students, parents, teachers, and educators it can get. They want to share this data not just within the educational system(s), but with many other state agencies. NYSED will have you believe that InBloom and the longitudinal data system is simply to create personalized learning for students.

How do I know this? Well, the state spelled it out for all of us to magically discover on our own. Read the entire details excerpted below. Below is the precise recitation and purpose of the Race to the Top (RtTT) driven expansion and adaption of the statewide longitudinal data systems as per NYSED’s response in an RtTT report. The report is also found in PDF format in the large document posted here. See pages 335-338.

USDofE Question: Describe the State’s progress, from the time of the application through June 30, 2011 in expanding, consistent with its approved application, statewide longitudinal data systems to include or integrate data from special education programs, English language learner programs, early childhood programs, at-risk and dropout prevention programs, and school climate and culture programs, as well as information on student mobility, human resources (i.e., information on teachers, principals, and other staff), school finance, student health, post-secondary education, and other relevant areas, with the purpose of connecting and coordinating all parts of the system to allow important questions related to policy, practice, or overall effectiveness to be asked, answered, and State-reported information incorporated into effective continuous improvement practices. In addition, describe the progress in working together with other States to adapt one State’s statewide longitudinal data system so that it may be used, in whole or in part, by one or more other States, rather than having each State build or continue building such systems independently. When applicable, please provide the date(s) associated with relevant updates to laws and regulations (e.g., date of passage, date of effect).

NYSED reported response: “The vision of the New York State Education Department’s P-20 Longitudinal Data System is to link data across 5 state agencies, with the goal of following students from early childhood through post-secondary education and employment. The data will be used in reports at both aggregate and disaggregated levels. State agencies will use linking techniques to organize data so that they can be easily and transparently accessed. The system will support various stakeholders with a data source that will develop and improve the New York State education system.

The state envisions a fully-developed P-20 (PreK – post secondary – workforce) longitudinal data system to be the key resource upon which all other educational reform proposals rely. This data system will provide information to educators and others that will allow them to make better instructional decisions—from teacher training to student-specific interventions—so that all students are able to reach their academic potential.

By working in collaboration with other state agencies, NYSED will be able to establish a P-20 data system without duplication of effort and cost. It will allow NYSED and other agencies to link data without the need for agencies to unnecessarily add new regulations or seek legal policies to collect data out of their purview. In the end it will provide a more robust state data system.

These enhancements, both completed and planned, include the following components:
* The ability to link teachers and other professionals to their students (now in effect). This link enables all of the following:
-Analysis of the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs and teacher certification processes.
-Creation of a principal and teacher evaluation system by linking teachers to their student’s assessment results.
* Expansion of data on English Language Learners (ELLs) (planned). New York State continues to plan for the expansion of data elements collected on ELLs, including a full analysis of the phenomenon of the Students with Interrupted Formal Education.
* Inclusion of systematic survey results on the school environment (planned). New York continues to plan the implementation of surveys of school climate.
* Creation of a system to track student progress throughout P-20 with an accompanying “Early Warning System” (planned). This overall reporting system will identify patterns of performance and behavior that are predictive of failure and the likelihood of a student becoming a dropout, not being prepared for college and career, or potential failure to complete post-secondary programs. We have received responses to a request for information in preparation of issuing a request for proposals to build this system.
* Creation of a full P-20 system (higher education links now in effect; links with State agencies planned). New York State has linked the NYSED data system to the comprehensive data systems for its two public university systems: the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY). Data from public and private higher education institutions throughout the nation have been received through a data exchange agreement with the National Student Clearinghouse. In a parallel effort, NYSED is working with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), including its fiscal, teacher certification, and adult education components, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), New York State Department of Health (DOH), and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (Tax and Finance). Other Participating Agencies include the New York State Council on Children and Families (CCF), New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the New York State Office for Technology (OFT). The combined Chief Information Officers (CIOs) of these agencies shall decide how to link student information, first through matching and then through a common identification number that will follow individuals throughout their lives. Once this is completed, the State agencies will link these databases into a full P-20 data system.
* The expansion of a version of the P-20 longitudinal data system designed specifically to support research and policy analysis (planned). Data is already made widely available to researchers; these efforts will be expanded). This database will:
– Comply with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements and all other applicable privacy and confidentiality requirements by stripping all personally identifiable information from the database.
– Be available to all State policy makers, researchers, and the public through a series of pre-formed and pre-aggregated data sets.
– Ensure disaggregated data is available to researchers in accordance with NYSED’s data governance procedures.”


Note: bolded emphasis added is mine

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