Wash. gets $17.3M from feds to track student data

OLYMPIA — Thanks to a $17.3 million grant from the federal government, Washington education officials will soon be able to track students from pre-school to college and their first job.

Washington is one of 20 states to win federal stimulus money for a statewide data system.

Gov. Chris Gregoire says the money will help state officials better understand the needs of the its young people and will help Washington improve education quality.

Washington already tracks students from kindergarten through 12th grade and colleges and preschools have their own tracking systems. Now the three systems will be joined. Besides looking at test scores over time, researchers will be able to examine topics such as dropout rates and the impact of early education.

An exploration of student privacy also is part of the project.

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