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Will California Consider Changing Teacher-Data Law to Qualify for Stimulus?

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The New York Times' Sam Dillon has a write-up of all the state action around changing laws in the hopes of qualifying for Race to the Top funds.

There's not a whole lot of new news here if you've been reading this blog and Politics K-12. But buried near the end of the story is the tidbit that a key California state lawmaker is drafting legislative language to "clarify" the state's position on the linking of student and teacher data.

Now, does that mean that officials are actively seeking to undo the state prohibitions on the use of the data? Or are they merely trying to strengthen their current argument that the law doesn't prohibit districts from using student-achievement data in evaluation decisions regarding teachers?

As I've surmised before, the obstacles that prevent districts from doing this aren't just political, but also practical: They would probably have to build or expand their own data systems in order to make use of the data, and that kind of infrastructure development doesn't come cheap.

1 Comment

Stephen, Thank you for hitting on an often-overlooked issue in the debate about school reform. Where's the money going to come from for all of this oversight? How much will it cost? As schools open to record-setting overcrowding and massive teacher layoffs some serious number crunching needs to be done. Parents have a right to know where their taxpayer dollars are going: to administrators and data base vendors or to the classroom and their kids.

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