Feds to give states $250M for education data

States must apply in near future for the grant money

The Education Department will spend $250 million from the economic stimulus law to help state educational agencies establish statewide data systems for tracking student achievements, according to a departmental plan.

The goal of the Statewide Data Systems program is to facilitate research and improve the availability of accurate and timely student data, the department said.

The department will award grants to “support the development and implementation of systems that link individual student data across time and across databases, including matching teachers to students; promote interoperability across institutions and states; and protect student privacy consistent with applicable privacy protection laws,” according to a plan published May 18 on the Recovery.gov Web site.

Some of the money will be spent to design new systems, modify existing systems, integrate existing systems, and create data marts and data warehouses, the department said, adding that programs for data quality assurance and teacher and program manager training also are eligible for the money.

States that apply for the money must provide assurances they will create a student data system with key elements, and federal authorities plan to have 10 states complete those systems this year, 25 states in 2010, 35 states in 2011 and 40 states by 2012, the plan states.

The grant competition will be announced June 24. Applications are due Sept. 17, and grant awards will be made Nov. 30, the department said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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