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Updated State Ed document details student data to be handed over to inBloom

Educators and parents concerned about student privacy have been closely watching what types of information must be submitted to a new statewide data system known as EngageNY Portal.

School administrators talked of hundreds of fields that would have to be filled out for each student -- from attendance records to state test scores -- but determining exactly what information would be uploaded was a challenge.

An updated document posted by the New York State Department of Education sheds more light on the question.

The department earlier this month updated its EngageNY Portal Data Dictionary. The document is an interesting read for those looking for a full list of information the state will automatically share with inBloom on each student in New York. All of the information, state officials say, is already uploaded to the state's existing data warehouse. 

InBloom is a non-profit education group that the state has hired to help create the new data portal. Its involvement has raised concerns among some educators and parents about how the information will be used and whether it will be kept safe.

Read more about the new system and the concerns of local school administrators in a Nov. 2 story on the new data system: Some school districts cite privacy concerns over state’s request for student data

At the time I reported the story, the state Department of Education said a document posted online describing the data wasn't clear about which types of information would be required by the state and uploaded to inBloom.

The old document included a column that included either "optional" or "required." In an interview, Ken Wagner, associate commissioner of curriculum, assessment and technology, said the column referred to a technical explanation of how the system would treat fields of information that weren't uploaded, not whether or not the information was considered optional or not. The document has since been updated.

The new version states that it "represents the data elements that the New York State Education Department will load into the inBloom data store for display in the EngageNY Portal data dashboard applications for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years."

-- Denise Jewell Gee

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | djgee@buffnews.com


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | tlankes@buffnews.com


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | stan@buffnews.com


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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