The state of Pennsylvania is in the process of developing a brand new, high level data system that will enable the tracking of students from preschool all the way up to their careers.
The announcement was made by the US Department of Education in May 2010, stating that the Department’s contribution towards the new data system would be around $14.3 million. This contribution would go towards the design and implementation stage of the data system. Out of 20 states in the US, Pennsylvania is one of them taking up the introduction of a state-wide longitudinal data system.
Every single state that will be introducing the new data system will have to fall within all federal privacy laws as well as those relevant to their respective states as well.
The Acting State Education Secretary, Thomas Gluck commented that the new data system would be useful to monitor if the strategies being used were effective. Being able to monitor a child’s progress from preschool through elementary school, secondary and postsecondary education up to the time they enter the workforce will give teachers, principals and even the Department of Education a clear indication of what needs improvement, what works best and every child’s unique educational needs.
The data system to be implemented in Pennsylvania is called PIMS or Pennsylvania Information Management System, and has been worked on for the last four years.
The new data system will link all available data, from student and teacher data, assessment results, demographics, literacy education and all other kinds of statistics that will help the Department to assess the roadmap taken and also provide a clear path ahead for the future generation.