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O'Connell Expresses Disappointment

No Federal Grant Money Coming to Support California's New Education Data System

May 27, 2010

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell expressed disappointment last Friday after California was not named as a winning state in the federal competition for a grant from the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) within the U.S. Department of Education.

O’Connell said “California is strongly supportive of President Obama's education reform goals, including improving teacher effectiveness, adopting standards to ensure that all students are ready for college and careers, turning around lowest-performing schools, and strengthening the collection and use of education data.  Using data is the key to making improvements in all four of these areas of school improvement.

“California's education data system needs to be stronger and more comprehensive.  We know what we need to do to make our education data system world class, and we are ready and willing to do this work.  Given the severity of California's ongoing budget crisis, we pursued the IES grant to help us make these critical improvements.

“It is deeply disappointing that states that seem to be further along in the development of comprehensive educational data systems were given preference in the IES grant evaluation process, rather than states, like California, that truly need the federal investment to better serve California students.

“I will review the feedback from federal officials about our application when it is available, and will continue to advocate for support for our data system from the U.S. Department of Education.  I will also continue to make the case that here in California we also need to live up to our commitment to students and invest state dollars to make critically needed improvements to our longitudinal education data system.”

IES grants, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, are intended to support states with the development and implementation of systems that promote the linking of data across time and databases, from early childhood into career, including matching teachers to students, while protecting student privacy and confidentiality consistent with applicable privacy protection laws.

Source:  California Department of Education