NYC Implements DIY Student Data Website, At 15% the Cost of ARIS

DO-IT-YOURSELF DATA: Starting June 8, parents of students in New York City public schools can access data about their students on a site developed by the city’s Department of Education.

The NYC DOE developed the student data site, NYC Schools, as a replacement for Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS). NYC ended its contract with Amplify, the provider of ARIS, in November. According to a press release, only 3% of parents used ARIS, which cost the city $95 million from 2007-2014. In comparison, the homegrown NYC Schools was designed for under $2 million, and further developments are expected to cost less than $4 million over the next four years.

Anticipation of the new system has been mixed: Parents are looking forward to the ease of using the same username and password to access information about all of their children in the system, but have expressed frustration at not being able to see detailed data on academic areas of improvement for their students, which ARIS offered. One benefit of NYC Schools: Since the site was developed and will be maintained internally, no outside vendor will have any access to the student data.

Hopefully, NYC has learned a lesson from the example of LAUSD, which unsuccessfully developed a homegrown student information system last year. (The LA Times called the SIS, which cost the district over $130 million, “a technological disaster.”)

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