The politics of education data in Florida
The national debate over making student and teacher records more accessible is playing out in the state of Florida. Last week (week of April 8th, 2013) the Florida Senate voted to consolidate education records in a single, online database. It’s still far from becoming law, but the debate is quite similar to the one over the new inBloom database.
In Florida, backers of the database argue that, if they put all the data in one place, then researchers can see long-term trends and note, for example, how students fare years after a particular intervention. Parent groups fear that confidential information will be revealed or that for-profit companies will capitalize on student information.
Complicating things in Florida is a separate measure to prevent teacher evaluation records from being subject to state records laws and released to news organizations. I wonder if that will turn education data a partisan issue with pro-union Democrats opposed to databases.