Out Takes: How the stimulus package is pushing technology in education

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A $5 billion grant to states is helping schools develop data networks to monitor students’ progress and keep track of tests mandated under the No Child Left Behind legislation. New York City has the biggest data network in place right now. Beth Fertig, a reporter with WNYC in New York joins The Takeaway to look at how this is working in the country’s largest public school system.

What else is in the stimulus bill? Follow the dollars online and tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community. We're sharing your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.

ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative outfit ProPublica, the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC, New York's flagship public radio station. With investigative reporting, interactive features and help from you.

Guests:

Beth Fertig

Hosted by:

Jerome Vaughn

Comments [2]

Nancy Scharff

ARIS is a great system for identifying WHAT to teach, but what is more challenging to teachers is HOW to teach the skills identified through Data Driven Instruction. The underlying assumption of DDI is that teachers know how to teach the skills but that they are simply not teaching them at the right time. Teaching Main Idea, as an example, to a 1st, 2nd or 5th grader, for instance is very difficult. Teachers need proven lessons and resources to teach the very specific skills being identified by the data.

Mar. 02 2009 12:11 PM
Martha Foote

The periodic assessments that are being used to produce data for ARIS (which, by the way, is still not functioning, despite the $80 million price tag) are superficial and inadequate instruments for measuring real student learning. These tests are merely practice tests for the Regents and state tests, which demand from the student the regurgitation of isolated factoids and formulaic (the 5-paragraph essay) writing. This is not high-quality learning. The problem with NYC's version of data-driven instruction is this: garbage in, garbage out.

Feb. 26 2009 02:38 PM

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