Q. It is claimed that Common Core does not require student data collection. What is the purpose of the State Longitudinal Data System?
A. Common Core and the SLDS are two separate initiatives in Mississippi, both designed to increase student outcomes. Senate Bill 2371 of the 2011 Legislative Session established Mississippi’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System or SLDS as follows:
The system will allow stakeholders and policymakers access data on state residents from birth to the workforce to drive accountability and investment decisions. The system will include data from multiple state agencies and entities. The system will provide decision makers a tool to develop policies to support objectives, including, but not limited to: (a) Enabling Mississippians to secure and retain employment and receive better pay after completing training or postsecondary degrees;
(b) Enabling Mississippi to meet the education and job skill demands of business and industry;
(c) Developing an early warning system, which allows the state to intervene early, improving the graduation rates in high school and college;
(d) Identifying teachers, teaching methods and programs that lead to positive student outcomes; and
(e) Encouraging the sharing of electronic data across educational and other entities.
Q. Please explain “assessment of academics” and “mindsets” of students by gathering biometric and philosophical data for the state created longitudinal data system mandated by the federal government.
Q. Will RMRIs be used on our children to form a database? Will our children’s information be kept private?
Q. I am concerned with the data collection and the distribution of personal (identifiable) data to national and international, public, and provide organizations. I noticed not one handout mentions the 400 point database or the electronic data collection, via mouse, chair pads, cameras, etc. Please discuss the database and collections methods.
A. MDE is not aware of any biometric and philosophical data being gathered through the state’s longitudinal data system. RMRIs, or retinal magnetic resonance images, are not a part of the student longitudinal database. Mississippi is committed to protecting the privacy of students and their families.
Q. Please list what data will be collected on Mississippi’s public school students. Can parents and students opt out of the collection and storage of personal information in education databases associated with CCSS? If so, what is the process? If not, why not?
A. The data currently collected in the system includes data such as enrollment in courses, statewide assessment results, and other academic data that can be used to evaluate educational programming. The data are used as a cumulative record of the student’s progression through school, as required by state and federal law.
Q. How will the “Mississippi Lifetracks” or SLDS be used to improve the education of the students?
A. The data are used to evaluate educational programming, holding educators more accountable for timely student success.