Through the development of ZIS architecture, school districts should be committed to a number of dataanalysis tools for tracking school improvement while allowing the flexibility of adding future applicationsto the data sharing zone. Such data analysis will include monitoring district constructed benchmarkassessments; measuring student performances through content analysis; tracking at-risk studentperformance; and providing real-time student assessment information to each Department of EducationZone Integrated Server (ZIS) through an Extensible Markup Language (XML), an industry Open-Standarddata format which allows state and federal agencies the readability of pertinent student-trackinginformation. The Open-Standard data format provided through an SIF framework will enable eachdistrict across the state to share data that moves among other software applications to support'horizontal interoperability. This data sharing will allow administrators and teachers to streamline datamanagement and create a true information management system. The newly designed system willintegrate disparate data repositories through a platform-independent, vendor-neutral communicationsarchitecture based on open-standard rule.
No Child Left Behind and Data Accountability
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002 is breaking new ground by requiring the collection of datathat describes school effectiveness through measurements of student progress and staff effectiveness.This Act outlines four basic education reform principles: stronger accountability for results, increasedflexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods thathave been proven to work. The data points necessary to make these determinations come from acrossthe pre-school through twelfth grade enterprise including student enrollment by socio-economic status,student performance on standardized tests disaggregated by race and ethnicity, class schedules, andstaff qualifications and teaching assignments.In many school systems across the Nation, most of this data is maintained in a variety of unconnectedsoftware applications. The required data import/export task is time-consuming and costly. Theseapplications are often purchased by different departments within a school or district, resulting in data
‘silos’ that mirror the school and district
organizational structure. The impact of NCLB is that schools,districts, and states must draw their data out of these disparate applications in order to respond to the
new requirements imposed by NCLB's ‘horizontal questions’ which cut across the software
andorganizational silos.Nationwide individual state departments of education need to recognize advancements in real-timetechnology that can provide local districts the opportunity through ZIS architecture to systematicallyaccount for individual and group academic and performance skills. It is the intent of this paper todemonstrate within this application a model for accomplishing the accountability questions derivedfrom the National requirements the importance of building a National Student Tracking and ReportingSystem entitled "S.T.A.R."
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