State schools Supt. Tom Luna said some concerns raised by local school officials about the new longitudinal data system are valid, but others aren't. He said school districts could choose whether to automate the process of entering data into the new system the first year. “To date, districts have chosen not to automate the process but to use this money for personnel and upload this data manually,” Luna told JFAC. “This is why many districts are reporting additional burdens on staff and resources. I continue to encourage districts to automate this process so they can minimize labor and maximize the benefit of this system.”
He said the state department needs to help districts more with the system, and acknowledged there have been many “frustrations.” But he said there also have been “success stories.” He said the department has heard the concerns, and, “We are taking steps to address them.”
Luna said he's launching a third-party audit of the data collection to verify its accuracy, and has asked school districts to volunteer for similar audits at their end; a half-dozen have now volunteered, he said.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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