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 (http://argusne.ws/wLArtP) 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.