Aggressive Plan for State Data Systems

Tony Bates, e-learning & distance education resources, Sept 28, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

An emerging trend, at least in North America, is the state (or provincial) data system. Tony Bates writes, "The benefits and risks of such aggregated data are obvious. Benefits include being able to provide reliable statistics on college enrolments and student performance by ethnicity, geographical location and family income, accurate data on completion rates, analysing the relationship between student performance and investment in public education, and a host of other data that could be used for both political and institutional decision-making. The dangers though include privacy and security issues – who would have access to such data and for what purposes – the danger of political interference in institutions on the misinterpretation or distortion of data, etc."
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