D.C. schools database is behind schedule

A $12 million project to compile critical information about District of Columbia schools in one database available to policy makers and parents is several months behind schedule, and officials aren’t prepared to say when it will be back on track, reports the Washington Post. The Statewide Longitudinal Education Data Warehouse aims to track each student from early childhood through college, using data now scattered among government agencies, the regular public school system, and the public charter school system. The system’s potential long-term value to the District increased this summer with the Obama administration’s introduction of the $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" grant program, which will award competitive grants to states that can demonstrate a commitment to innovation and reform. The database system’s first two components are in place, officials said: a 10-digit identification number assigned to each of the District’s 71,000 students, and a centralized listing of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. But officials said the main contractor on the project, Williams, Adley & Co., has missed a series of deadlines since the contract was awarded early last year. Systems to link student identification numbers to standardized test scores going back to 2006, which were expected to be complete this summer, are overdue…

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