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1/7/2014 6:00:00 AM
Arizona Legislature
Funds sought to track progress of Arizona students
Current system 'a burden to schools'
The state Education Department wants the Legislature to provide $16.5 million to finish modernizing a computer system that tracks the attendance and test scores of individual students. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
The state Education Department wants the Legislature to provide $16.5 million to finish modernizing a computer system that tracks the attendance and test scores of individual students. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

PHOENIX (AP) - The state Education Department wants the Legislature to provide $16.5 million to finish modernizing a computer system that tracks the attendance and test scores of individual students.

The funding request for the Student Accountability Information System is a priority of state Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal for the legislative session that begins Monday, The Arizona Republic reported.

Legislators will be considering a budget for the state fiscal year that begins July 1. Gov. Jan Brewer has not yet released her budget proposal.

The Legislature last year provided $7 million for data-system improvements, less than half of Huppenthal's request.

Huppenthal said the work is needed because the current system is burdensome to use and doesn't provide timely data to classroom teachers.

"Right now, when a student moves from School A to School B, it sometimes takes months for the data to move," Huppenthal said.

The education system wastes money because schools give newly enrolled students diagnostic tests that the students' previous schools had already administered, he said.

"The current data system is a burden to schools," Huppenthal said. "We are adding unneeded costs and bureaucracy to their operations."

Huppenthal said he wants the system to provide teachers with "dashboards" that display student data instantaneously.

The Education Department is testing such a system in several schools this year. If all goes according to plan, dashboards will be available to all schools in the state by the end of 2015.

"The advantage to the system we are designing is that teachers would not only know that a student is struggling with math," Huppenthal said. "They would have access to test results that show exactly what part of math they are having trouble with, like factoring."

The department's plan has backing from Expect More Arizona, a public-education advocacy group.

"A better-functioning data system should be a priority because Arizona teachers, students and parents will benefit from it directly," said Pearl Chang Esau, Expect More Arizona's president and chief operating officer.

"If we are able to provide high-quality, accurate data to teachers, they are better-positioned to make meaningful decisions about how to tailor what they are teaching to meet student needs," Esau said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Working at the Glendale Unified School Admin. offices in personnel, I saw the waste and heard the BS of school administrators.
What an eye opener experience that was!
We're talking "educated intelligent "?people who left ALL their common sense at the college gates as they walked away with some sort of degree.
AND YET HIGH SCHOOL Through 20 year olds DON"T KNOW WHO MARGARET THATCHER WAS?? BUT, they know ISLAM and prayer to Alah!!!
AND YOU WANT MORE MONEY???


Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

What ever happen to a student hand carrying his/hers school records with them when going into a different school district???
What's wrong with you people, Can't you use a printing machine and print out the student's record and release to student or parent of???
I swear you people find more reasons to want more and more and more!

Look into past and current budgets and find all the DOLLARS you WASTE every Year!!
What you need to do is provide a good daily lunch from an on campus cafeteria at EVERY SCHOOL in the state, made from scratch so these kids get at least one decent meal a day, And All the better it would be midday instead of late if any.
Teachers need to be appreciated, school administration need to grow up and shape up as they are ones OVER PAID and always whinning for more DOLLARS!


Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014
Article comment by: See How Important School Funding Is

Well Robert, now that my ears adjusted to your screaming. Let's just look at the costs associated with your rant. Each teacher and school would need to track their "info" - ching. Then combine the info from other schools - ching, ching. Then the big cost of modifying all the teaching in each school to address the weaknesses this "info" points out - ching, ching, ching. See Robert, everything costs money. The question is are we as citizens of this community and nation willing to pay to improve the education of the young. I, for one am willing to do so for I volunteer in the schools and see how very hard the teachers, staff and children work to bring about a better Kingman.

Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Article comment by: ROBERT DAY

NO FUNDS ARE REQUIRED TO DO SOMETHING EACH SCHOOL CAN DO ON THEIR OWN AND THEN COMBINE THE INFO FROM ALL SCHOOLS TO GET AN AVERAGE OR USE IT TO ADJUST THE STUDIES IN EACH SCHOOL TO MAKE IT BETTER WOW THAT WAS SO EASY LOL



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