scan code for esp
Will your student have a scan code for data tracking?

One company staying under the radar in the Common Core State Standards Initiative and data gathering debate is ESP Solutions Group.  Here’s a brief history of ESP:

ESP solutions and data gathering

It should be noted that this sale of National Transcript Center (owned by ESP) was to Pearson.

esp solutions and data system

This move to individualize student data information is even after Commissioner Nicastro’s insistence that DESE is “not interested” in gathering individual student information.

esp solutions and data 2


You can see from this link ESP has been involved in data retrieval since 1995.

Since ESP considers itself as a “leading expert in understanding data and technology” and has a long history of assisting states in best practices for data retrieval, you might want to take seriously its 10 year prediction on the data driven decision making predictions and plans for public schools.  The ten predictions written in 2006 include the predictions excerpted below.   From Dr. Glynn Ligon of ESP Solutions and Data Driven Decision Making 2016 – ESP Solutions Group:

esp information transfer

What has changed via FERPA since this “Secretary to Secretary” prediction  was written is that not only will aggregate statistics will reach the US Secretary of Education, individualized student information will be able to be accessed by the USDOEd.   Here’s a chart from ESP showing the data retrieval and transmitted to the Federal Government.  In 2014, it is now permissible (without parental knowledge/permission) for student individual data to be accessed and transmitted to the USDOEd:

esp solutions data graph to USDOEd

Students are not students in the classical sense, they are now considered “return on investments” (ROI).  Ligon regrets having to sound “cold” about that statement, but there “is a continual pressure to justify the cost of education” and the data will allow “education evaluators to calculate actual costs reliably”.  Pity the child whose parents are divorcing, is having learning issues, coming in adolescence, etc. and is not performing well to the constructed data set.  But as parents and taxpayers are demanding a return on the tax money they shell out for services, it is the Ligon’s contention that students be judged not for their individual educational development but as they perform to a centralized data set:

esp cost benefit data

Ligon then offers 41 additional predictions for the 10 predictions (now labeled as wishes) to come true:

Now I must admit, these are not so much predictions as wishes. These are 10 advances in the application of education information technology that if realized would solve some of our most troubling problems.

The following is a list of specific predictions that must come true for the 10 wishes to have a chance to materialize.

Some are occurring in 2014,  some are not and some are in the throes of implementation in various school districts around the country. Some predictions to note:

18. Something other than passwords will take over—something biometric.  (Even behavioral patterns may be used for continual verification of identity, e.g., keyboards will verify finger prints and a user’s typical pattern of which finger presses each key to allow continued access to systems, servers will analyze the periodicity of access to files and applications for individual users, new access patterns will require deeper identity verification, etc.)  MEW: will the NSA scandal affect this prediction?
19. National and international metadata standards will become necessities.  MEW: Will the Constitution be rewritten to allow the Federal Government and private agencies this power to set national and international metadata standards for the states?

23. The psychometrics of assessments will change from single points in time, annual, benchmarks and norms to continuous scaling.  MEW: Is the purpose of education now just test after test after test?

Read the entire report here.

Here is information on Dr. Glynn Ligon:

Glynn D. Ligon, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Dr. Ligon, the president and chief executive officer of ESP Solutions Group, is a nationally recognized expert on issues relating to student record collection and exchange, data quality, data reporting, and large-scale system design.

The National Center for Education Statistics, the U. S. Department of Education, and over 25 state education agencies have consulted with Dr. Ligon on various areas of his expertise. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Quantitative Methods from The University of Texas at Austin and is licensed to teach in the State of Texas.

Prior to starting ESP in 1993, Dr. Ligon directed the Austin (TX) Independent School District’s information and technology organization. As the executive director of management information, he led the district’s efforts in developing and reporting on district-wide program evaluations, many of which won national awards from the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Ligon was also a leader in the advent of SPEEDE/ExPRESS, the EDI standard for the exchange of electronic student transcripts.

From 1992 to 2000, he served as a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Planning and Evaluation Services Review Panel. Dr. Ligon’s whitepapers; A Technology Framework for NCLB Success and Steps for Ensuring Data Quality are prominently featured within the U.S. Department of Education’s 2005 National Education Technology Plan, meant to help motivate and incite technology-driven transformation in education.

At the beginning of his career, Dr. Ligon taught in predominantly Spanish-speaking schools near the Texas-Mexico border. He is an experienced evaluator of Title I, Migrant, compensatory education, and bilingual education programs.



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