Deciding Who Sees Students’ Data

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/business/deciding-who-sees-students-data.html

InBloom, a nonprofit corporation based in Atlanta, seemed to offer a solution: it could collect information from the district’s many databases and store it in the cloud, making access easier, and protect it with high-level encryption.

The company has name-brand backing: $100 million in seed money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundationalong with the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Beyond storing data, it promised to help personalize learning — by funneling student data to software dashboards where teachers could track individual students and, with the right software, customize lessons in real time. Also, districts could effortlessly share student records with developers seeking to create educational tools for schools. In other words, for Dr. Stevenson, it represented not just a fix to a narrow technical problem, but also a potentially revolutionary way to help educate students.

“We are joining the new generation of data management,” Dr. Stevenson said enthusiastically in the March issue of “Chalk Talk,” the school district’s newsletter for parents.

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