The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation said last week it is giving $10 million to help Texas create a $60 million data system to track student performance, giving educators access to academic, attendance, disciplinary, and state testing records for individual students.
Texas Education Agency officials said the system will allow teachers and principals to intervene early with struggling students. Officials said they will apply for $50 million in federal economic-stimulus funds to help pay for the system. Such data systems are a key part of the Race to the Top, a competitive $4 billion grant program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that rewards states for education innovations.
Barbara Knaggs, the education agency’s associate commissioner for state initiatives, said having a philanthropic donation jump-start the initiative helps Texas compete for the federal grant.
A version of this article appeared in the September 30, 2009 edition of Education Week as Dell Foundation Donation to Help Create Data System in Texas