At the SXSWedu education technology conference in Texas, one of the products garnering attention is a $100 million database that will track and chart the academic paths of students in public schools from kindergarten through the end of high school. Already the database has millions of files with the children identified by name, address, and even social security number. It also documents learning disabilities, test scores, and attendance, and in some cases hobbies, career goals, and homework completion.
The database was created as a joint project between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York and has since been turned over to the nonprofit inBloom, Inc. States and school districts will be able to choose whether they want to include their students’ records in the program. The ultimate goal being to have this information help the schools target specialized educational products and lesson plans for the students.