Magazine article Information Management

Schools Shell out Millions to Computerize Records

Magazine article Information Management

Schools Shell out Millions to Computerize Records

Article excerpt

President George Bush's 2002 No Child Left Behind education initiative requires U.S. public schools to collect and report data including student attendance and test scores.

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To comply, many states have launched efforts--costing taxpayers nationwide several billion dollars annually--to build high-tech computer systems to collect and categorize student information. The state-by-state drive is one of the country's biggest computerization efforts--and some of the projects have cost more and taken longer than expected or fizzled, according to The New York Times.

California expects to spend $120 million on purchasing the system and arranging for the schools to connect to it. In North Carolina, $250 million in expected expenditures and one canceled contract so far have not resulted in a usable system; rather the state is years behind its implementation schedule.

As these experiences show, building a data system to collect information from all the schools in a state--which involves integrating computer systems used in hundreds of districts, each of which may have multiple databases using distinct operating systems--can be complex and incredibly expensive. …

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