Public schools in St. Paul, Minn., have set a goal of improving the state test scores of every student group by 10 percentage points. Student data can pinpoint children at risk of missing the goal and help educators target which students get extra help. Although some teachers and experts are concerned the approach won't offer long-term gains or address the needs of all children, school officials say the data make it easier to determine where attention should be focused at various levels.

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