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CPS will use state-run data program, not controversial inBloom storehouse

Updated: December 28, 2013 6:36AM

Chicago Public Schools has decided against using inBloom, a controversial data storehouse run by a nonprofit, and will work directly with a state-run data program, a spokeswoman said.

In Illinois, an online platform called the Illinois Shared Learning Environment, or ISLE, is in development to collect student data in one place.

The services of inBloom, which would allow access to a broader range of digital applications and content, were an optional add-on, but not mandatory, Illinois State Board of Education officials have said.

On Tuesday, CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said CPS will use only ISLE.

She said CPS has the resources to implement the data-sharing effort on its own and doesn’t need a third party.

“We believe the best course of action for CPS is to work directly with [the state board of education] to provide the data needed to participate in this important initiative,” Carroll said.

Critics of inBloom were concerned about privacy, the security of the data and how the data would be used.

One CPS parent who has been worried about inBloom, Cassie Creswell, lauded CPS. “This is great news,” she said.

But Creswell said more information about ISLE’s system is needed.

A state board of education spokeswoman has said data collected by ISLE will be relevant only “to instructional applications” and won’t have anything to do with a child’s health or disciplinary matters.

In Illinois, two Downstate districts will pilot the ISLE program this winter, according to the state board. Over the next two years, 35 pioneering districts that receive federal money will start participating in ISLE.

That includes CPS, which committed to participate in ISLE and over three years will receive $19 million of federal money from the Race to the Top fund.



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