New York City has signed an $80 million deal for a massive supercomputer that will crunch huge amounts of data and offer up-to-the-minute reports to teachers, principals, and eventually parents, in an effort to better understand student performance. The information fed into the IBM-designed system, called ARIS (or Achievement Reporting and Innovation System), could include existing data on students--such as gender, race, and any disabilities--along with new data from incremental testing. The five-year deal with IBM is already under way, and ARIS is expected to be running for principals and teachers by September and for parents the following year.

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