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