Race to Top Winners Face Data System Challenges
Coherence and Capacity Pose Challenges for States in Fulfilling Grant Promises
In the Race to the Top, state data systems were somewhat overshadowed by more high-profile and controversial sections of the competition, such as teacher evaluations and school turnaround plans.
Yet several key reforms in winning states hinge on the effectiveness of those data systems, and judges and outside experts worry states could face some heavy lifting to ensure their data systems keep up with their policy plans.
"There is a heavy data component" in Race to the Top, or RTT, reforms, said Alex M. Jackl, the director of information systems for the Washington-based Council of Chief State School Officers. "There's hope for some real progress to be made, but there are some challenges and some real risks we're just going to flush that money down the toilet. Most of the winning states call for a fairly major rewrite or upgrade of their data systems, and most of those states' systems are not ready for the level of detail...
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