Friday, May 15, 2009

Meta-analysis continued ...

"Last year, DiNapoli launched, a website containing searchable databases of spending by more than 100 state agencies and more than 60,000 state contracts. It also includes school districts.

And there are other groups shining sunlight through the clouds on school districts as well. The
Empire Center for New York State Policy, an Albany-based think tank and project of the nonprofit Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, provides an easily accessible, easily searchable database for government payrolls, labor contracts and expenditures across the state—including school districts’ teachers and superintendents—through its SeeThroughNY Web portal ( "

All of the above projects (and others of a similar nature) are good and worthwhile. But, yet again, we see similar projects executed without "normalization" or a "common language."

Can they be converted to become part of the "whole" and thus more productive and useful elements? Of course.

Will they?

No, unless we (as Long Islanders and New Yorkers in this case) demand that they do.

This data, while useful, still does not allow us to engage in the "meta-analysis" we require to come to rational and collaborative decisions about our future.

At best this information is a beginning. At worst it allows advocacy groups of all stripes to pick and choose only the data they want from the data source(s) they wish to use to perpetuate their already established beliefs.

We can, and must do better.

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