An elaborate, $80 million public school data system that was supposed to be ready in September to allow New York City parents to see things like which courses their children need to graduate, or how their test scores compare with citywide averages, has been unavailable even to school principals so far–and 21 principals instead have turned to a program created at a Brooklyn high school to track progress, reports the New York Times. The status of the information system–known as ARIS, for Achievement Reporting and Innovation System, developed by IBM and a group of subcontractors–is touching a raw nerve as schools throughout the city brace for $185 million in budget cuts. Ernest A. Logan, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, the union that represents the city’s principals and assistant principals, said he had "major concerns" about the progress and cost of ARIS, and this had been the topic of "ongoing conversations" with Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. One Brooklyn elementary school principal–who, like a half dozen other principals interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the Education Department, said in frustration: "Principals are held accountable for everything, as you well know, but IBM isn’t held accountable for $80 million that they’ve been paid for a system that they haven’t been able to get working?" A March 2007 news release announcing the contract described ARIS as a "first-of-its-kind data management system" that would "make innovations at one school available" to others, and projected that data would be available to teachers and administrators that September and to parents a year later…

Click here for the full story

About the Author:

eSchool News