I'm willing to take bets that I am the only NYC public school teacher out there who logged into ARIS (that's the New York City Department of Education’s Achievement Reporting and Innovation System to you) before the school year started. As I was very diligently logging in to my DOE e-mail (which I have also very diligently checked over the summer, only to be sent into panicky tailspins by the missives of my principal), I was informed I had to reset my password (which the DOE makes us do practically biweekly, as if anyone is really trying to hack into my e-mail and find out which exciting coverage I'll be made to do next), and on the default home page I happened to log into ARIS out of curiosity -- at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Sure enough, my class list is up and running, and there are changes: I lost one sweet girl and gained one (different) sweet girl, one boy I am not excited about unless he's matured a heck of a lot over the summer, and one unknown boy from another school.
Now, I am all about the lists and charts and organizational tools, but I'm already frustrated by ARIS. Maybe it's because I've got second graders, so there's not exactly that much data to go on, but almost every single data field on my students was blank, and the ones that were there are cryptic. My new student from another school has an IEP, but I can't tell what's on it. Several of my students have "health alerts," but I don't know what they are. And a handful have "closed 407s," which (because I am a huge dork) I had to research to find out what exactly that meant. (As far as I can tell, it means they were absent a lot, and the DOE investigated.) This is my third year in the system, and I don't see how I'll ever keep pace with all the acronyms and numbered abbreviations.
But all the tools we use at my school to measure student progress -- running records and Everyday Math assessments and checklists and such -- don't factor into ARIS. So pretty much all I get out of it is a list of 27 names and a record of how many days they were absent. Which doesn't do much to help ease my anxiety of what it will be like when those 27 squirmy bodies are filling my new classroom.