Legislation to make it easier to find and analyze student data for parents, teachers, and students was heard in the Senate Education Policy Committee this week. Those who spoke in favor of the bill called it a game changer and a tool that could be critical in helping close the achievement gap.
The bill directs the MDE Commissioner to use the Statewide Longitudinal Education Data system (SLEDS) to create a virtual student “backpack” of information on academic progress and achievement.
The Commissioner would be required to create the Minnesota Records Center that would permit parents to grant a teacher or other school official access to student information and to request student records transfers. The bill also requires security measures to be implemented to ensure student data is private and confidential. Parents would access the data through their local school; the Commissioner would develop policies to help school districts respond to parental requests.
The bill also creates a phase-in period for when specific data must be available. By 2018, the Commissioner must ensure that the collected data is integrated into each local education system and made available to parents in an easily accessible format. (S.F. 990)