Tom Luna defended Idaho’s data collection on students saying without that data, education leaders can’t make sound decisions.
Luna told the interim legislative committee on education that he recognized concerns from parents about the security of data and where that information will eventually end up.
“People want to know that data collected on their children will serve an education purpose,” Luna said.
He supports creation of a firewall to protect the collection of this data.
But without data system, the state has been making decision on how to spend $1 billion a year on public schools with no assurance that the information filtering into the state is accurate.
He sought to reassure parents that Idaho Core Standards now in place in public schools across the state requires no more data collection than the state already does.
“Most of this is data your schools have been collecting on kids for years.”
It does not include religion, Social Security numbers or biometric data, Luna said.
The state data collection system caught double funding of 3,000 students based on average attendance, Luna said. That saved the state $2 million the superintendent said.
The data system will also play a key role in developing ed reform coming from Gov. Butch Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education, Luna said.