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ERIC Number: ED538398
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Leveraging the Power of State Longitudinal Data Systems: Building Capacity to Turn Data into Useful Information
Data Quality Campaign
Faced with the need to create a competitive workforce and improve the quality of our education system, states are pursuing policy agendas to better prepare students for postsecondary education and careers. To inform these agendas, statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs) have become an invaluable asset and serve as a tool to help states answer pressing policy questions and improve practice. In the long term, these robust data systems can enable state education agencies to create tools such as early warning systems and data dashboards, which equip educators with information to address issues including dropouts, teacher quality and college readiness. All stakeholders will benefit in a variety of ways. However, fully harnessing the power of these robust SLDSs to answer key policy questions and provide information critical to various stakeholders depends upon state education agencies' being able to: (1) Collect the data in a way that provides valid answers to a state's critical policy questions, even as these questions change over time; (2) Define accurate measures of progress; (3) Conduct appropriate analyses of the data; (4) Present and disseminate findings to stakeholders; and (5) Use the information to drive policy and practice decisions. While IT staff and resources will always be required to maintain and update the SLDSs, the power of these systems will not be evident until education analysts and researchers also engage in the full scope of system design, maintenance and use over time. [This paper was written with Ellen B. Mandinach and Nancy J. Smith.]
Data Quality Campaign. 1250 H Street NW Suite 825, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-393-4372; Fax: 202-393-3930; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Data Quality Campaign