Can 'Big Data' Narrow the Achievement Gap?

Can 'Big Data' Narrow the Achievement Gap?

FOR BETTER OR WORSE: At a recent Gamechangers panel at the New York Times Schools for Tomorrow conference, a panel composed of Michael Horn, Daphne Koller, Alec Ross and Paula Singer grokked the role of data in impacting student learning. Ross suggested that it could actually increase divide between the haves and have-nots. Horn didn't disagree: "there will be big [achievement] gaps in the future," he said, but the goal is "that your ethnicity, race, or income level is not the determining factor." Ponder CEO Alex Selkirk, who observed from afar, thought the discussion glossed over one major question: "Will all this amazing education data...go the way of the giant troves of insurance, credit card and Internet data, that are kept out of public hands in the name of trade secrets and competitive advantage?"

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