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My Quest for My Data Report

The news came out awhile ago that teacher data reports were available. Since I’m at a new school my principal did not have my report (I was the only one to even ask her about it). I checked ARIS constantly, thinking that the city schools’ online data system would be a logical site to post my report, but found nothing. Finally, I googled “teacher data reports nyc” last night and found a Department of Education page about data verification for the reports. Clicking through this page to the Data Toolkit I saw “Get Your Reports” on the side. I was getting somewhere!

The page says that a username and password were to be sent to our DOE e-mail, so I double-checked that and found nothing. Moving on, I clicked through to the site where I could download my report. When I did so an alert showed up notifying me that the site was not under the jurisdiction of the DOE and the DOE was therefore not responsible for its content (the page is run by the Wisconsin Center for Education Reform at the University of Wisconsin). Okay … I tried my DOE username and password, but had no luck, so I went through the password retrieval process, and … I made it. I had finally accessed my data.

The whole ordeal couldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes, but it was far from easy which begs the question — why? Why wasn’t my data report just uploaded to ARIS? Why is a report that the DOE is trying so hard to market as a tool to help teachers improve their practice so difficult to access? Several teachers at my school hadn’t even heard of the reports when I brought them up at a meeting a couple of weeks ago. It seems clear the Teacher Data Initiative is more about setting the stage to use test scores in the (near) future directly for evaluations, tenure decisions, and probably the establishment of merit pay. From my experience, it does not seem that making the reports available to teachers is a genuine priority for the DOE.

At least my long quest for my data report is finally over. I’ll share my thoughts on the report tomorrow.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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