State launches review of data collection

Over the next two weeks, the State Department of Education will jump into a two-year job of reviewing data collection requirements.

The department is taking a deep dive into the Idaho System for Educational Excellence — the state’s longitudinal data system. District officials have long complained about the ISEE’s burdensome monthly reporting mandates. Districts are required to submit 561 separate data elements to the state.

“We’ll look at every single one of them,” Will Goodman, the state department’s chief technology officer, said Tuesday.

The state’s review started Monday and is expected to take two weeks.

The goal is twofold: to find data elements that the state doesn’t need to collect, and to find elements the state does not need to receive each month. Even some quarterly reporting requirements would ease the workload for districts, Goodman said.

The State Board of Education and the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education will review any changes in reporting requirements, to make sure the moves will not affect federal or state school funding.

Student data collection received considerable scrutiny during the 2015 legislative session.

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In February, the state’s Office of Performance Evaluations issued a stinging report on the $12 million system — saying the state repeated some of the same mistakes from a previous student data collection initiative.

Lawmakers authorized an interim committee to spend the legislative off-season scrutinizing data collection requirements. The Education Department was planning to review data collection before the Legislature created its interim committee, Goodman said.

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