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State Task Order Summaries - Iowa

Contact Person: Jim Addy

FY 2008 | FY 2006 | FY 2002 | FY 2001 | FY 2000

Iowa 2008
Task Order: $50,000
Data Warehouse Needs Assessment

The Iowa Department of Education (IDE) has been collecting student level data from public schools across the state since 2004. This initiative, Project EASIER (Electronic Access System for Iowa Education Records) assists with state and federal reporting as well as facilitates the transfer of individual student records among districts and postsecondary institutions. Project EASIER has not, however, enabled IDE to provide area and local education agencies with comprehensive and timely information for data-driven decision-making. Therefore, IDE is beginning a data warehouse project (Iowa Data Warehouse) to integrate data from multiple sources within the state. The long-term goal of the data warehouse is to enable educators to easily access student data for effective decision making and to provide education information to the general public.

The Iowa Data Warehouse project will load data from three sources: Project EASIER, special education, and student achievement. IDE believes that it is critical to gain input from the key stakeholders regarding the types of data and the types of uses they perceive as important within these three data sets. Therefore, IDE proposes to conduct a needs assessment among local school districts and area education agency staff from across the state with the intent to solicit input on the portal design and the reporting interfaces of the data warehouse. Specifically, IDE is interested in determining how each stakeholder group would like to view and use the data. This needs assessment will consist of two distinct pieces.

  1. A statewide web-based survey to determine the type of data that users would like to access.
  2. A series of focus groups (200 total users) to solicit qualitative feedback on the three source systems as well as the potential for future data sources to be loaded into the warehouse.

The target audience for the needs assessment primarily includes superintendents, principals, assessment coordinators, curriculum directors, and teachers. The results of the needs assessment will be used to develop the system requirements for the design phase of the data warehouse.

The IDE is committed to the creation of a data warehouse, implementation of a portal for education data, and designing reports that enable data-driven decision-making at all levels. This Task Order would provide funding to engage stakeholder groups and define the types of data and reports that are important to the education community.

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Iowa 2006
Task Order: $52,500
Project Easier Data Quality and Collection Expansion Training Workshops

The requested funding will provide two detailed training/workshops in two separate sites (Des Moines and Waterloo Ė 2 training sessions for each site) for school district/area education agency (AEA) staff in the area of data quality for the Iowa Department of Educationís current data collections including:

  • Project EASIER data submission
  • Student information system data entry
  • Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) data collection (ITP)
  • The Iowa Student Identification and Locator System
  • Privacy/Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) issues

The Iowa Department of Education will provide two single day workshops (one during the winter and another in the summer) that will provide training and documentation to best practices in the submission and use of Project EASIER, the Iowa Student Identification and Locator System, use of the districtís student information system in conjunction with EASIER, the Iowa Student Identification and Locator System, the Iowa Testing Barcode extract and other areas of Iowa Department of Education data collection. Iowa Department of Education staff will instruct, provide demonstrations, address issues and answer questions in small breakout groups for specific areas of the Iowa Department of Educationís collections.

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Iowa 2002
Task Order: $80,000
Conversion of Project EASIER EDI Record Processing from a Client-Side, Application-Based Model to a Server-Side, Web-Based Model - Second and Final Year

The Iowa Department of Education (IDE) received task order funding to complete the migration, begun under FY01 task order funding, of the current Iowa data collection system to a server-side, web-based model. Completion of this project would enable the IDE to bring 100 percent of Iowa’s 371 public schools into project EASIER. This project would also result in the software and data conversion files for the current Project EASIER sites in addition to providing technical assistance to the remaining district sites as they begin using the new process.

The five major tasks to be completed under this task order, matching the five major tasks from the FY01 task order, were:

  • Create system flowchart, project timeline, and detailed specifications for all components of the final server application and necessary hardware
  • Identify and contract for services with appropriate technical support vendors and web developers responsible for creating and testing the final server application so that it conforms to the specifications for a quality product
  • Create and deploy, in a test environment, the server application and components
  • Deploy server application in production environment and test with limited number of districts
  • Deploy server application for use by all districts

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Iowa 2001
Task Order: $80,000
Conversion of Project EASIER EDI Record Processing from a Client-Side, Application-Based Model to a Server-Side, Web-Based Model

The Iowa Department of Education received task order funding to migrate the current Iowa system of creating and processing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) records from a client-side, application-based model to a server-side, web-based model. Through the implementation of five major tasks, the Iowa Department of Education would plan, develop, and implement a revised approach to maintaining and supporting EDI software and the collection of district level student information. The project would result in the software and data conversion files for the 217 Project EASIER sites in addition to the 157 future district sites being located at the Department web server. As of 2001, software and data conversion files were located at each of the 217 sites.

The five major tasks to be completed under this task order were:

  • Create system flowchart, project timeline, and detailed specifications for all components of the final server application and necessary hardware
  • Identify and contract for services with appropriate technical support vendors and web developers responsible for creating and testing the final server application so that it conforms to the specifications for a quality product
  • Create and deploy, in a test environment, the sever application and components
  • Deploy server application in production environment and test with limited number of districts
  • Deploy server application for use by all districts

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Iowa FY 2000
Task Order: $60,000
Project EASIER

The Iowa Department of Education (IDE) received funding for a task order to help support the revision of Iowa’s entire data collection system through the expansion of Iowa’s electronic data interchange (EDI) initiative, Project EASIER, and all web-based collection and dissemination systems. The efforts which this project would support were initiated by the IDE in order to reduce data reporting burden and encourage better decision making through establishing and maintaining a method of accessing and transferring education information among school districts, area education agencies, postsecondary institutions, and the IDE. The general outcome would be the complete replacement of the current paper-based data collection and reporting system.

The main objectives for this project were:

  • Eliminate delays in sharing of student records among school districts
  • Allow immediate placement of students into appropriate educational programs
  • Raise the standards for security and confidentiality of shared student information
  • Reduce district data burden for state and federal reporting requirements
  • Reduce current local school district data burden by leveraging existing technology
  • Standardize course transcript information for post-secondary institutions
  • Create more timely and accurate information for policy decisions
  • Promote data sharing among state agencies
  • Encourage better use of student information at the local school level through ease of access and sharing
  • Promote public support for education through information sharing


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