Ala. 1 of few states meeting data collection goals

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama is one of just six states that have met all 10 goals in a national project to collect and monitor data on student achievement.

Alabama and Louisiana met all of the goals of the National Center for Educational Accountability's Data Quality Campaign for the first time this year. Florida, Delaware, Arkansas and Utah are the only states to have previously met the standards.

The project is financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and gathers data ranging from test scores to drop-out rates. Alabama Commission on Higher Education director Gregory Fitch said collecting the information means Alabama can more readily spot weaknesses.

The data can also be used for economic development by providing information to potential employers.

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