New data system to assess South Dakota schools, teachers

2012-03-12T15:57:00Z New data system to assess South Dakota schools, teachersThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 12, 2012 3:57 pm  • 

SIOUX FALLS -— South Dakota plans to get a longitudinal data system that links student scores and other information to individual teachers.

The Argus Leader reports ( that the state's Department of Education officials have signed a five-year $2.3 million contract with Otis Educational Systems of Georgia.

The goal is to link the state's public school districts with the Otis system by next year.

South Dakota already collects data on test scores, attendance and family income, but now the information will help identify trends and will be vital to a new school accountability system and teacher reforms authorized by the Legislature last month.

Researchers will use the information to assess the effectiveness of small class sizes and special math interventions, or figure out which teaching colleges produce the most talented graduates.

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(4) Comments

  1. Thomas Dewey
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    Thomas Dewey - March 12, 2012 10:37 pm
    Prairiedog has a key point. Rapid City Schools is now moving to Professional Develpoment Communities which can mean a variety of teachers in a classroom. It has started in several elementary schools and is now working its way up to the middle schools and eventually high schools. How can a single teacher be graded? This is all getting rather mind-numbing. Thanks SD Department of Education for more cutting-edge thinking.
  2. I would rather be fishing
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    I would rather be fishing - March 12, 2012 7:59 pm
    Well, this new data system is probably a good idea.... but I sometimes wonder just when do the teachers have time to teach?
  3. My Two Cents
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    My Two Cents - March 12, 2012 7:20 pm
    Three Points!

    How's this software working out in Atlanta Public Schools? It is laughable that the state with the largest testing scandal is behind this software.

    Also, there is no way that one program can assess all of those variables reliably. There is an art to teaching and learning that cannot be realized on a bubble sheet.

    Last point, where is the administrative evaluation component? Education is facing a crisis of leadership and yet it is always the teachers getting hammered. Somehow the school and district administrators have sold the legislature that the hardest working folks are the problem. Isn't it funny that those with the least amount of time to advocate for themselves (teachers) are the ones getting hung out to dry. That is just wrong!!!
  4. prairiedog
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    prairiedog - March 12, 2012 4:53 pm
    When a student isn't tested every year and has multiple english teachers exactly how do you link their test score to one teacher? So I guess we test every year? that costs more money, but where not okay with throwing money at education, furthermore, its sad when 3rd graders like those in WY are burned out on standardized tests. Oh well, whatever wins elections after all its for the politicians.
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