It seems the city will foot a hefty $80 million bill to purchase a “supercomputer” named Aris (Achievement Reporting and Innovation System) that will facilitate tracking its 1.1 million school kids.
From the Daily News: The system will combine existing data on kids – from a child’s gender and race to whether he or she needs special education services to the name of his or her third-grade teacher – with new data to be generated from annual state exams and interim tests given to kids every four to six weeks. The interim tests measure whether kids have mastered specific skills, such as multiplying fractions or distinguishing fact from opinion, at different times of the year.
The five-year deal with IBM will give schools, teachers and eventually parents more information than anyone could conceivably want on any given student, faster than anyone could conceivably want. The Daily News points out that the price tag could pay to build as many as three elementary schools and staff them for at least a year. As far as we can tell, the computer will mostly analyze a student’s academic progress, and not so much his or her mastery of those more personal life lessons.
Photo courtesy of kylemac on Flickr