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State Education Department Delays Upload of Student Data to inBloom

State Education Department Delays Upload of Student Data to inBloom
Written by Ryan Buncher

The New York State Education Department has delayed the upload of identifiable student data to inBloom until at least April because its new portal system. 

The student data already uploaded to inBloom did not have student names and addresses, which will be included when NYSED sends the remaining information. NYSED Spokesman Tom Dunn confirmed the delay Thursday. 

"This is a complicated project with many dependencies across three dashboard vendors, one system services vendor, and a data services partner," Dunn said. "Because our contractors have advised us that implementation of the EngageNY Portal is taking longer than expected  (as is often the case in large technology projects), the upload of a full data set to inBloom isn't needed until about April at the earliest, so we are holding off."

The plans to share data with inBloom have drawn heavy criticism from parents, educators and elected officials due to concerns regarding potential misuse of the data. 

In December, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called for the state Education Department to supsend the plan to share student data with inBloom until it can provide better assurances that the data would be properly protected. 

Legislation has already passed the New York State Assembly that would give parents or students who have turned 18 option to opt in to have their information shared with inBloom, set parameters for the use of the data and penalties if it is misused. Senator David Carlucci recently spoke at Nyack High School about the companion bill that he is co-sponsoring in the State Senate. Read more about that  here

Many school districts in the Lower Hudson Valley chose to  withdraw from the federal Race to the Top grant program to avoid choosing a data dashboard to use the new system, but those districts will still have to submit student data to NYSED. 

Another course taken by a number of school district superintendents is to send letter to inBloom calling for the data it has to be deleted and not to upload any further data from those districts. Pearl River School District Superintendent  Dr. John Morgano sent such a letter and spoke in December about a reply from inBloom, which said the district had to take up the issue with the state. 

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