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Web site lets New York City parents track data on students

After several months of delays, a web site that offers an interactive portfolio of New York City public school students’ test scores, grades, and attendance rates will be available for all parents by the end of June, reports the New York Times. Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein called the web site, known as Parent Link, a "powerful tool" that would allow parents to work more closely with teachers to help their children. On the site, parents will be able to view overall course grades and scores on state tests, but not individual scores on class assignments. They’ll also be able to see attendance histories and look at the probability of a student passing state math and English exams, based on how they have scored on periodic city tests. The web site also will show how their child is doing compared with children at schools serving similar student populations. The Parent Link site, which is available in nine languages, is part of an $80 million data and information initiative developed by IBM, known as the Achievement Reporting and Innovation System, or ARIS, which has been slow to take off. Some principals grew so frustrated with its quirks last fall that they improvised their own data management systems. Since then, the city’s Department of Education has improved the system, and it is now easy to use, said Chiara Coletti, a spokeswoman for the principals’ union…

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