News and Speeches

Achievement Reporting and Innovation System is Now Available to All Principals and Classroom Teachers

11/17/2008


    Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced that the Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS), a groundbreaking tool introduced last year to principals and small teams of teachers to help them raise student achievement, is now available as well to all New York City classroom teachers. ARIS gives educators access in one place to critical information about their students – ranging from enrollment history, diagnostic assessment information, credits accumulated towards graduation, and test scores to special education status and family contact information. ARIS combines this information with an online library of instructional resources and with collaboration and social networking tools that allow users to share ideas and successes with other educators in their school and across the City. Training for principals and teachers on the new ARIS tools began this month and will continue throughout the school year as new features are added.

    “ARIS is a truly revolutionary tool for our educators,” Chancellor Klein said. “For the first time ever, it gives principals and teachers a single source for information about their students. It allows them to use this information to identify quickly areas where their students are struggling. And it allows them to collaborate with colleagues citywide to find the best way to move students forward. No other school system in the country provides their educators with all of these resources, but we’ve combined them all into a single, easy-to-use system.”

    ARIS consolidates information from many existing Department of Education computer systems into a single Web portal that is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. In the past, most of this information was extremely difficult for principals to access and impossible for teachers to access.

    The student data available in ARIS includes current and past scores on State reading, math, social studies, and science tests; scores on Regents exams; scores on no-stakes periodic assessments in reading and math; high school credits earned; enrollment history; family contact information; English Language Learner and special education status; and other biographical information. Later this school year, additional assessment data, course grades, and attendance information will be available.

    Teachers can use ARIS to diagnose their students’ learning needs and measure their success in meeting those needs. They can see an overview of the academic progress of every student in all of their classes. With just a few clicks, they can view more detailed information about individual students or groups of students. Principals can view information about any student or class in their school. Later this school year, teachers and principals will also be able to create customized reports based on this data so they can monitor the specific skills, or analyze the trends in their students’ progress, that matter most to them.

    ARIS combines this data repository with a library of lesson plans, curricular materials, and other educational resources created by educators across New York City and the nation, and with collaboration and social networking tools. Educators can use these tools to learn from their colleagues throughout the City and to avoid having to reinvent class plans, curricula, interventions and additional resources that others have already perfected. Using the collaboration tools, principals and teachers can identify educators who teach similar subjects or have students presenting similar challenges and form a community—with tools like blogs and wikis to make sharing ideas easier. Groups of teachers and administrators within and across schools can create online workspaces to share documents and plan together. Later this school year, teachers will be able to rate resources contributed by other teachers and sign up for subscriptions to be notified automatically when new content or information has been posted about particular subjects.

    The Department of Education will be training principals and teachers on ARIS throughout the school year. Training sessions for principals began earlier this month. In addition, principals are identifying two “school experts” – including at least one teacher – to receive training later this month. Principals and the school experts will help colleagues at their school use ARIS. Principals and teachers will receive additional training later in the year as new features are added.

    Starting this week, all teachers will receive a postcard inviting them to log on to ARIS. ARIS is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection at www.nyc.gov/schools/ARIS. Users only have access to data about the students they are responsible for educating.

    The Department of Education began developing ARIS in February 2007, and launched the system in all 1450-plus schools eight months later, in September 2007. The data available at that time was used primarily by principals and Inquiry Teams–groups of teachers and administrators at each school who focus on ways to improve instruction for a targeted, low-achieving group of students. This year, ARIS provides additional data sets, presents data to each teacher on all of their students, and includes new tools that enable sorting, filtering, and grouping according to students’ characteristics so that teachers can track their students’ progress throughout the year. The online library of instructional resources and collaboration tools are also new this year. This fall, families will begin logging on to ARIS to access information about the progress their children and their children’s schools are making.