from an Oracle press release via CNN marketwire
March 30, 2010: 08:00 AM ET
- Several innovative U.S. K-12 school districts and state education agencies recently purchased or implemented Oracle business intelligence technology and applications to improve visibility into organizational performance and increase operational efficiency, teacher effectiveness and student achievement.
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided $100 billion to education organizations, including $245 million for state educational agencies to develop and implement statewide data systems to manage and analyze individual student data. Many school districts and state education agencies are turning to Oracle to help build data systems to foster transparency and enable efficient reporting, while improving performance management throughout their organizations.
Oracle K-12 Customer Details [Edited/entire release - http://bit.ly/dzJleJ ]
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation's second largest school district with more than 615,000 students, deployed Oracle BI Suite EE Plus with the assistance of the eVerge Group to provide more than 39,000 teachers and administrators access to student performance and attendance data. With Oracle as the backbone for LAUSD's "MyData" initiative, the district has the ability to dynamically generate more than 300 reports that give educational administrators and teachers timely access to relevant district- and campus-level data along with the ability to drill down into detailed student information and history. These reports compile a wide range of data including California State Test (CST) scores; Periodic Assessment scores and performance levels in English/Language Arts (ELA); Mathematics, Science and Social Science Attendance data; interim and final marks for all secondary courses and elementary subjects; intervention history; discipline data; English Learner (EL) status and level; the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for special education students and the CA High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) results. The reports aggregate current student performance data and prior year student performance data to show growth or decline. These multi-measure rosters for the teacher are key in the District's Response thru Instruction and Intervention (RtII) program for instruction that emphasizes the use of data in decision making. LAUSD uses Oracle BI Suite EE Plus to pull data from multiple internal sources, as well as to link to external systems such as the CORE K-12 Periodic Assessment system, intervention strategies and professional development resources.
●●smf’s 2¢: 4LAKids supports this in concept+theory– LAUSD has not been good at distilling data into usable information and sharing it in a timely manner with folks who can use it. Much of LAUSD’s data has been kept ‘Inside Beaudry’ - unavailable to those at schoolsites and/or in the silos outside IT and Data and Assessment – as some sort of propriety intelligence coded in Fortran. One needs only rewind the complaints from the Board of Ed on how data is not shared with them.
H O W E V E R . . . one worries that this data system will not be compatible with the also- in-development/issue-plagued  / State Department of Education’s data system [California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)]
The LAUSD platform is Oracle, the CALPADS platform is IBM.
If the LAUSD box+software cannot speak to the state box+software we will have two very-expensive-but-worthless boxes in the great garage of reform – and 60 Minutes/New York Times “What were they thinking out there in LaLaLand?” stories.
Sabot Technologies, a consulting firm hired by the California Department of Education to study the CALPADS project, has given the project an overall score of "STOP - in critical danger of system/project failure."
In its report, Sabot Technologies, "discovered significant issues with the system and project representing a threat to the success of CALPADS from both an engineering and project standpoint," warning, the "CDE must recognize that there is a risk of losing control of this effort on multiple dimensions."
According to the report by Sabot Technologies:
• The IBM team "is less experienced than expected for a project of this size and complexity," and it is "understaffed to handle the work."
• There is a "distinct lack of technical leadership and engineering resources on the California Department of Education side of the project."
• "There are simply not enough capable labor resources to perform all of the required tasks and/or perform quality assurance activities."