state analysis by state action

Action 1 Top Right: 

Link state K–12 data systems with early learning, postsecondary, workforce, and other critical state agency data systems

By linking data systems across the P-20 /workforce spectrum, states will be able to evaluate whether students, schools and districts are meeting states’ college and career readiness expectations. However, academic data and performance histories alone cannot provide a complete picture of the challenges students face and the programs and services they take part in outside the classroom that affect student achievement.

Page Title: 
state analysis by state action
Action 2 Top Right: 

Create stable, sustained support for longitudinal data systems

Longitudinal data systems are not one-time investments but critical state infrastructure that requires maintenance and enhancements over time to meet new demands from people with a stake in education. A key factor in ensuring that state longitudinal data systems remain viable over time is use by and demand for data from these systems from those with a stake in education, including teachers, education leaders, policymakers, parents, and the public.

Action 3 Top Right: 

Develop governance structures to guide data collection and use

Data governance, a critical aspect of data management, provides organizations and agencies an opportunity to define the roles and responsibilities needed to institutionalize their commitment to data quality and use.

Action 4 Top Right: 

Build state data repositories

Data warehouses are essentially secure storage facilities where detailed and reliable educational data from several areas that affect student performance are stored and integrated. They allow data that have been traditionally stored in different silos to be linked or integrated, allowing states to inform various practices and policies.

Action 5 Top Right: 

Provide timely, role-based access to data

Without secure access to the right information, people with a stake in education are forced to make decisions based on anecdote, experience, or instinct. For information to be useful, it must be timely, readily available, and easy to understand.

Action 6 Top Right: 

Create progress reports with student-level data for educators, parents, and students

Creating progress reports using student-level longitudinal data enriches the information that is available to parents and teachers by providing information on a student’s academic history, including courses taken and grades received.

Action 7 Top Right: 

Create reports with longitudinal statistics to guide system-level change.

All people with a stake in education need information on school, district, and state performance to gauge progress and make decisions to support continuous improvement at all education levels.

Action 8 Top Right: 

Develop a purposeful research agenda and collaborate with universities, researchers, or intermediary groups to explore the data for useful information.

To make full use of the longitudinal data states are collecting, states need access to individuals with high-level analytical skills and research training to securely use the data to answer the multitude of policy and evaluation questions.

Action 9 Top Right: 

Implement policies and promote practices, including professional development and credentialing, to ensure educators know how to access and use data appropriately.

To ensure that data are used to inform teaching in the classroom and to promote continuous improvement at the school and district levels, educators must be trained on how to access, analyze, and interpret the data.

Action 10 Top Right: 

Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data

In addition to educators, others with a stake in education, including students, parents, policymakers, and community members, need to know what data are available and be able to access, interpret, and use data effectively. Without access to timely and accurate data, state policymakers are flying blind when weighing the potential impact of new legislation in terms of the cost, return on investment, and effect on students and schools.

Action 1 State Progress: 

There is a growing demand for postsecondary data to answer critical policy questions.

  • 43 states link K–12 and postsecondary data systems, up from 38 states in 2011, helping them evaluate whether students, schools, and districts are meeting college-readiness expectations.
  • 27 states link postsecondary and workforce data systems, an increase from 14 states in 2011, allowing states to determine whether students are prepared for the workforce.
  • Most states (44) have created high school feedback reports that provide information on how graduates fare in postsecondary. Forty-one of these states make the reports publicly available.
Action 2 State Progress: 

The majority of states are viewing sustainability of their data efforts as a state responsibility and acknowledge that they cannot rely solely on federal funding. Despite the recent financial challenges in many states, 41 states are funding their state’s data system, up from 31 states in 2011 and eight states in 2009, reflecting a belief that data are critical in the decisionmaking process at all levels. States are also establishing policies mandating the building or use of P–20W systems (45 states, an increase from 36 states in 2011).

States funding their data systems are also ensuring use by establishing state policies requiring data system use.

Action 3 State Progress: 

States are increasingly recognizing the need to address concerns of turf, trust, technology, and time by establishing governance bodies.

  • Forty-two states have established both state education agency and cross-agency data governance (up from 36 states in 2011).
Action 4 State Progress: 

The majority of states continue to ensure robust data systems by enhancing data collection and storage.

  • Every state has either built and implemented a K–12 data repository or is in the process of building a K–12 data repository.
  • Of the 46 states that have built a K–12 data repository, over 76 percent include at least four educator-level data components (such as demographics, certification, professional development, etc.) and over 95 percent include at least three components.
Action 5 State Progress: 

States are providing those with a stake in education secure access to data.

  • States have been providing secure access to data in a measured way, starting with the education leaders easiest for states to reach—district superintendents (42 states) and principals (43 states).
  • Forty-two states are providing access to aggregate-level longitudinal data to superintendents, state staff, and the public (an increase from 37 states in 2011).
Action 6 State Progress: 

Most states produce reports that analyze an individual student’s data in different ways.

  • Forty-one states produce growth reports, 32 diagnostic, 30 early warning, and 26 college- and career-readiness reports.
  • Of states that produce each type of report, the majority of states tailor each report for district staff, principals, and teachers.
Action 7 State Progress: 

States are producing multiple reports and dashboards with aggregate-level longitudinal data.

  • Forty-six states produce reports about schools, districts, and groups of students using longitudinal data (an increase from 39 states in 2011). These reports include high school feedback (44 states), cohort graduation (41), growth (39), and college- and career-readiness reports (34).
Action 8 State Progress: 

More states are supporting their research capacity by partnering with other organizations to implement a research agenda.

  • Forty-three states are developing a purposeful research agenda with other organizations in an effort to build the state’s research capacity (an increase from 36 states in 2011). Most of these states have partnered with higher education institutions (38 states).
  • Forty-five states have a process through which outside researchers can propose studies using state data, up from 39 states in 2011.
Action 9 State Progress: 

States value the use of data by educators in classrooms, as evidenced by the number of states training teachers and principals to use data.

  • Forty states train teachers and principals to use longitudinal data to tailor instruction and inform schoolwide policies and practices.
  • Forty-two states train teachers and principals to use and interpret specific reports. In 41 of these states, the state plays an active role in training educators.
Action 10 State Progress: 

An overwhelming majority of states are raising public awareness about available data.

  • Forty-three states use outreach tools to communicate the availability of data to noneducator stakeholders.
  • Many states use traditional outreach, such as press releases and reports (42 states), followed by in-person outreach (41) to communicate the availability of data to noneducator stakeholders.
Action 1 What It Takes: 

K–12 and early childhood data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.

43 states match

K–12 and postsecondary data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.

43 states match

K–12 and workforce data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.

19 states match

Action 2 What It Takes: 

The P–20W state longitudinal data system (SLDS) is mandated or data system use is required in state policy.

45 states match

The P–20W SLDS receives state funding.


41 states match

Action 3 What It Takes: 

A state education agency data governance committee is established.

45 states match

A cross-agency data governance committee/council is established with authority.

43 states match

Action 4 What It Takes: 

K–12 data repository is built and implemented.

46 states match

Action 5 What It Takes: 

Multiple levels or types of role-based access are established.

42 states match

Parents, teachers, and appropriate stakeholders have access to student-level longitudinal data.

17 states match

Superintendents, state policymakers, or state education agency staff, and other stakeholders have access to aggregate-level longitudinal data.

42 states match

State policy ensures that teachers and parents have access to their students’ longitudinal data.

13 states match

The state is transparent about who is authorized to access specific data and for what purposes.

28 states match

Action 6 What It Takes: 

The state produces reports using student-level longitudinal data.

42 states match

Teachers and appropriate stakeholders have tailored reports using student-level longitudinal data.

35 states match

Action 7 What It Takes: 

The state produces reports using aggregate-level longitudinal data.

46 states match

State-produced reports using aggregate-level longitudinal data are available on a state-owned public website.

45 states match

Action 8 What It Takes: 

The state has developed a purposeful research agenda with other organizations.

43 states match

The state has a process by which outside researchers can propose their own studies.

45 states match

Action 9 What It Takes: 

Teachers and principals are trained to use longitudinal data to tailor instruction and inform schoolwide policies and practices.

40 states match

Teachers and principals are trained to use and interpret specific reports.

42 states match

The state plays an active role in training educators to use and interpret specific reports.

41 states match

 

Pre-service: Data literacy is a requirement for certification/licensure or data literacy training is a requirement for state program approval.

32 states match

 

Teacher performance data are automatically shared with in-state educator preparation programs at least annually.

22 states match

Action 10 What It Takes: 

The state communicates the availability of data to noneducator stakeholders.

43 states match

The state trains noneducator stakeholders on how to use and interpret data.

34 states match

The state education agency makes data privacy and security policies public.

46 states match

Action 1 Recommendations: 

Meaningful, useful P–20W data sharing is still lacking.

  • While 43 states match K–12 data with early childhood, most links are not able to provide all the data that stakeholders need. Many states can link K–12 data systems to special education (44 states) and state prekindergarten programs (42) but not to subsidized child care (12) or Head Start/Early Head Start programs (23).
  • Among the 43 states that match K–12 and postsecondary data, most states are sharing data on students’ entry into postsecondary, such as postsecondary enrollment (43) or remediation status (38). Fewer states (32) are sharing data on students’ outcomes, such as completion or degree status, which does not give states a complete picture of students’ success at the postsecondary level.
  • Only 19 states link K–12 and workforce data systems, which limits states’ ability to have a meaningful understanding of how students are being prepared for the workforce.
Action 2 Recommendations: 

All states need to commit state funding to support their state longitudinal data system (6 without state funding).

Action 3 Recommendations: 

A high-quality cross-agency data governance body is formal and transparent.

  • Only nine states have a sustainable, multi-tiered cross-agency data governance committee in place to establish the vision and mission of the cross-sector data governance work, set policy, and ensure that the policy and data work are carried out.
Action 4 Recommendations: 

For policymakers to answer critical questions, states need to do more to build the capacity of their data systems to include student-level data from multiple state agencies.

  • Of the 46 states that have built a K–12 data repository, less than 67 percent include student-level data from four or more state agencies (in addition to the state education agency), and one state does not include any additional data.
Action 5 Recommendations: 

Few states are ensuring parents have access to the data they need.

  • While teachers share current student performance data with parents, states have a unique role in providing a robust picture of each student’s achievement, such as data that show changes in academic growth over time. Parents in 17 states (Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin) have secure access to their own children’s data, which follow their children’s progress throughout their education.
  • Many states are unclear about their role in ensuring that local stakeholders have access to data. As the role of the state education agency evolves from being a compliance body to serving their districts, states must navigate how best to ensure that local data users, such as parents, have access to the data they need.
Action 6 Recommendations: 

States must do more to tailor reports for parents and students.

  • Of the 41 states that produce growth reports, only 20 states tailor these reports for parents and students.
  • Of the 32 states that produce diagnostic reports, only 15 tailor these reports for parents and students.
Action 7 Recommendations: 

Not all aggregate-level reports are publicly available.

  • Aggregate reports do not include individual student information and can be made publicly available, but not all states do so.
  • Thirty-nine states produce growth reports, but only 33 states make these reports publicly available.
Action 8 Recommendations: 

Most states need to build internal state education agency capacity to ensure accuracy of external research efforts and to carry out their own evaluation and research activities.

  • Four states do not yet have a statewide research agenda.
Action 9 Recommendations: 

States and teacher preparation programs have not developed effective partnerships for data sharing.

  • Only 22 states share teacher performance data with educator preparation programs, providing them the data they need to improve their programs.

It is difficult for states to develop data literacy policies and practices for their educators.

  • Only 13 states require data literacy for both educator certification and education preparation program approval.
Action 10 Recommendations: 

Most states need to ensure noneducator stakeholders are trained on how to use and interpret data to inform decisions.

  • Only 34 states train noneducator stakeholders on how to use and interpret data. Even fewer states provide more active forms of training either directly or through partnering with higher education or nonprofits.

Data are more than just test scores, and by effectively accessing and using different types of data—such as attendance, grades, and course-taking—teachers, parents, and school and district leaders can help ensure that every student is on a path for success every day, not just at the end of the school year. DQC's 10th annual state analysis, Data for Action 2014, measures states’ progress achieving the 10 State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use, which call for states to move from collecting data only for compliance and accountability purposes to using data to answer critical policy questions, inform continuous improvement, and ultimately, support students on their paths to success.

Every state has built robust statewide longitudinal data systems that collect quality data beyond test scores, and in 2014, Kentucky joins Arkansas and Delaware as the third state to have implemented all 10 State Actions. For more information and analysis on the 10 State Actions, click on the individual Actions tabs and read DQC's report.

10 State Actions

  • Link Data Systems
  • Create stable, sustained support
  • Develop governance structures
  • Build state data repositories
  • Provide timely, role-based access to data
  • Create progress reports with student-level data for educators, students, and parents
  • Create reports with longitudinal statistics to guide system-level change
  • Develop a purposeful research agenda
  • Implement policies and promote practices to build educators' capacity to use data
  • Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data

Number of States With Each Action

  • 50
  • 40
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • Action 1

    19 states

    Link Data Systems

  • Action 2

    41 states

    Create stable, sustained support

  • Action 3

    42 states

    Develop governance structures

  • Action 4

    46 states

    Build state data repositories

  • Action 5

    11 states

    Provide timely, role-based access to data

  • Action 6

    35 states

    Create progress reports with student-level data for educators, students, and parents

  • Action 7

    45 states

    Create reports with longitudinal statistics to guide system-level change

  • Action 8

    41 states

    Develop a purposeful research agenda

  • Action 9

    18 states

    Implement policies and promote practices to build educators' capacity to use data

  • Action 10

    33 states

    Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data

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