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Appendix C—Additional Resources


 

Chapter 3. Project Management for an LDS Implementation


Technology @ Your Fingertips

National Forum on Education Statistics (1998).

See sections 5.2 and 5.3 for some general lessons on project management of a technology solution.

Governance Structure, LDS Project Team Organization, and Sustainability

IES SLDS Grantee Meeting: Session V, SLDS (2006).

Representatives from several states discussed how their project teams were organized within their respective state education associations (SEA), and how decisions were made.

South Carolina's Governance Structure (Diagram)

South Carolina Department of Education (2007).

This diagram illustrates South Carolina's LDS project governance structure.

Chapter 4. Engaging Stakeholders: Bringing Everyone Along


Alaska's Initial Solicitation Letter Commissioner Signature (Invitation to Participate in Stakeholder Groups)

Alaska Department of Education (2007).

This item is a draft letter inviting stakeholder participation to Alaska's Unity Project.

Don't Get Lost in Translation: The LDS and the Data Divas, Data Geeks, and Data Duffers

South Carolina Department of Education (2007).

This presentation from NCES's 2007 Summer Data Conference reviews South Carolina's approach to engaging stakeholders, getting the right people involved in the LDS project, and facilitating effective communication between these key players from various backgrounds to optimize results.

Stakeholder Involvement in Maryland

Maryland Department of Education (2006).

This presentation given at the 2006 IES SLDS Grantee Meeting provides an overview of Maryland's efforts to engage a wide variety of stakeholders. It includes the various types of stakeholders, their roles, and how needs assessment is conducted. Lessons learned and best practices are offered. Slide notes are also included.

LDS Share

Alaska Unity Project: Functional Stakeholder Organization Chart

Alaska Department of Education (2007).
This item illustrates the Unity Project's Functional Stakeholder Organization.

External Communications Plan Example

Michigan Department of Education (2007).
This document represents an example and/or template external communications plan developed by the state of Michigan.

Stakeholder Involvement in Designing and Developing Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (2006).
This short presentation given at 2006 IES SLDS Grantee Meeting lists the challenges of engaging stakeholders.

Chapter 5. Building State–District Relationships


What Is the Role of the SEA in Providing LEAs With Access to Key Data for Instruction?

Council of Chief State School Officers. Education Information Management Advisory Consortium LDS Taskforce (2007).

What can the SEA do to help local agencies in the LDS effort? This brief covers the establishment of an identifier system, professional development, benchmarking, data management and business intelligence, and legislative support.

Creating Longitudinal Data Systems: Lessons Learned by Leading States

Data Quality Campaign (2006).
This document summarizes findings and offers lessons learned from case studies of four leading states that vary in terms of LDS progress, public and political support for LDS, and the focus of their LDS efforts.

Chapter 6. Self-Assessment: You are Here, But... Where Exactly is That?


Core Elements Completion for Establishing a Statewide Longitudinal Data System

Institute of Education Sciences (2009).
This checklist can help your organization gauge where it is and where it needs to focus efforts in establishing an LDS. Agencies can reflect on which components they have, which they want or do not care to have, and the status of support and funding for those components.

Forum Unified Education Technology Suite

National Forum on Education Statistics (2005).
See chapter 2 for a discussion of needs-assessment and, to a lesser extent, self-assessment.

2009–10 Survey Results

Data Quality Campaign (DQC 2009).
This is a sample survey of state education agencies, organized around the DQC's 10 essential elements and 7 state actions. It asks key questions about agency progress towards, and activities related to, these elements and actions.

Chapter 7. Enterprise Architecture


Enterprise Architecture

Microsoft Developer Network.
This site includes links to a host of articles on EA including an introduction to Microsoft's approach to EA and a discussion of the most popular EA frameworks.

Enterprise Architecture as Strategy

Ross, J.; Weill, P.; and Robertson, D. (2006).
Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press
This book structures and explains the enterprise architecture (EA) approaches that topperforming private sector organizations have taken.

Enterprise Architecture Frameworks

Below is a list of some of the most popular EA frameworks. Microsoft notes that none of these EA approaches is sufficient for all situations and recommends using the most useful portions of each one to meet your organization's needs.

Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA)

The federal government has been a leader in developing and using EA and the private sector is following suit.

The Open Group Architecture Framework and Architecture Development Method

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is a detailed method and supporting tools for developing an EA. It may be used freely by any organization for its own EA development. Architecture Development Method (ADM) is a "reliable, practical method... for defining business needs and developing an architecture that meets those needs, utilizing the elements of TOGAF and other architectural assets available to the organization." In other words, ADM is the process for creating TOGAF.

Zachman Framework

Zachman International.
One of the earliest EA frameworks, this is a logical structure for organizing the descriptive representations important to the management of an enterprise and the development of its systems.

Fore more in-depth discussion of these and other frameworks, see Microsoft Corporation's A Comparation of the Top Four Enterprise-Architecture Methodologies.

Chapter 8. Needs-Assessment: Defining "There"


Technology @ Your Fingertips

National Forum on Education Statistics (1998).
Chapter 2 contains a helpful discussion of needs assessment. While not specific to an LDS project, it offers some relevant guidelines for finding out what functional and technological needs your stakeholders have. It also offers tips on creating a statement of needs.

Creating a Statewide Educational Data System for Accountability and Improvement: A Comprehensive Information and Assessment System for Making Evidence-Based Change at School-, District-, and Policy-Levels.

Felner, R.; Bolton, N.; Seitsinger, A.; Brand, S.; and Burns, A. (2008). Psychology in the Schools 45(3), 235–256.
This article provides a good example of how designers can think big from the outset, defining their needs and developing a system guided by more ambitious goals than usual. It covers many areas of the education system that may be measured, including developmental, educational, fiscal, and policy conditions, as well as students' academic performance and developmental and educational needs.

Effective Use of Electronic Data Systems: A Readiness Guide for School and District Leaders

Learning Point Associates and the Educational Service Agency (ESA) Alliance of the Midwest (2006).
This guide is intended to help districts figure out what they want from a data system, identify appropriate questions to ask about a system, and assess the district's readiness and capacity to use one effectively.

Beyond Test Scores: Leading Indicators for Education

Annenberg Institute for School Reform (2008).
This study looks at leading indicators used to identify signs of academic progress before test scores come in. These indicators may be useful in helping agencies think about the questions they want to explore and the data needed to answer them.

LDS Share

The following documents are available at /programs/slds/ldsshare/slds.aspx:

Longitudinal Data Systems: Summary of Current and Potential Issues

Maryland Department of Education (2006).
This document discusses current issues and potential uses of LDSs. It reviews the basic requirements of an LDS as well as the options that can be built into the system. It highlights themes and poses questions that may be used to inform the design of a needs-assessment process.

Maryland Longitudinal Data System Needs Assessment Guidelines for Internal Stakeholders

Maryland Department of Education (2006).
This document represents materials that Maryland's project staff use to conduct a needs assessment for internal stakeholders. The document also contains proposed topics for needs assessment for external stakeholders.

Questionnaire for Teacher Specialists

District of Columbia (2007).
This file summarizes the findings of numerous focus groups the District of Columbia held with a variety of stakeholders: the mayor's office, community/principal groups, and functional groups (e.g., special education, charter schools, funders, researchers). Potential data requirements for a state longitudinal data warehouse (SLED) were identified and rated on a scale of one to three by all stakeholder groups. The file also includes the focus group schedule.

SLED Focus Group Requirements Traceability Matrix

District of Columbia (2007).
This file summarizes the findings of numerous focus groups the District of Columbia held with a variety of stakeholders: the mayor's office, community/principal groups, and functional groups (e.g., special education, charter schools, funders, researchers). Potential data requirements for a state longitudinal data warehouse (SLED) were identified and rated on a scale of one to three by all stakeholder groups. The file also includes the focus group schedule.

Chapter 9. Data: Knowing What You Have, Identifying What You Need


NCES Handbooks Online

National Center for Education Statistics.
These handbooks provide guidance on consistency in data definitions and maintenance for education data, so that such data can be accurately aggregated and analyzed. Use this searchable web tool to find standard data elements for students, staff, and education institutions; along with standard definitions and recommended values or responses for each element.

National Education Data Model

U.S. Department of Education.
The National Education Data Model catalogs the data used in P–12 education and describes the relationships among those data. It is designed to be used as a reference tool to facilitate the identification, merging, and matching of data across different systems; to provide similar descriptions across local education agency (LEA) systems, across LEAs, and from LEAs to the state and federal government; and to specify the content and structure of logical and physical data models.

Common Data Elements for Education Technology Assessment

State Educational Technology Directors Association.
This toolkit presents the common data elements SETDA has identified for tracking state progress towards the goals of the technology section of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data

National Forum on Education Statistics (2009).
This guide defines "attending/present" and "not attending/absent," categorizes attendance codes in an exhaustive and mutually exclusive way, and supports improved attendance data quality and comparability between states and districts.

Accounting for Every Student: A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes

National Forum on Education Statistics (2006).
This guidebook presents "best practice" advice for tracking and maintaining information on enrollment status. It presents an exhaustive and mutually exclusive taxonomy of exit codes.

Longitudinal Data Systems: Summary of Current and Potential Issues

Maryland Department of Education (2006).
This document summarizes information related to longitudinal data systems in education, exploring current issues and potential uses. It will guide the external stakeholder needs assessment process, highlighting themes and posing questions to be addressed in interviews, surveys, and focus groups.

Getting the Evidence for Evidence-Based Initiatives: How the Midwest States Use Data Systems to Improve Education Processes and Outcomes

National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (2007). Issues and Answers Report (REL 2007–016). U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.
This report reviews the progress of several midwestern states in developing LDSs and the use of data systems in general. Based on interviews with SEA officials and federal agency staff, the authors review the work that was done, the challenges that were faced, and the current requirements being pursued by the states.

Illinois State Board of Education SIS Data Elements, Approved Codes and Indicators

Illinois State Board of Education.
This page contains documentation for all data elements collected through the Illinois State Board of Education's (ISBE) student information system (SIS), including demographics, enrollment, assessment, English language learners, early childhood education, discipline, student identifiers, and more.

Creating a Comprehensive Teacher Data System

Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession.
Page 6 of this report includes a list of data elements suggested for a comprehensive staff data system.

Forum Guide to Core Finance Data Elements

National Forum on Education Statistics (2007).
This document provides an overview of key finance data terms.

Linking Spending and Student Achievement: Managing Inputs, Processes, and Outcomes

Data Quality Campaign (DQC 2008).
This issue brief explores the benefits of linking financial and student achievement data. It discusses the challenges of improving current financial systems, and includes two case studies.

Facilities Information Management: A Guide for State and Local Education Agencies

National Forum on Education Statistics (2003).
This guide provides a framework for identifying a basic set of school facilities data elements and definitions that will meet the information needs of school and community decisionmakers, school facility managers, and the general public.

Linking Teacher and Student Data to Improve Teacher and Teaching Quality

Data Quality Campaign (DQC 2007).
This issue brief discusses information about teachers that may be tracked in an LDS, and the benefits those data can offer when linked to student data.

Victoria Bernhardt Web Page

This author has written a number of publications discussing the types of data that may be useful to educators at the local level. This site links to many of these resources.

Ruth Johnson Web Page

This author has written a number of publications discussing the types of data that may be useful to educators at the local level. This site links to a many of these resources.

Chapter 10. Some Critical "Abilities": Interoperability and Portability


The Right Data to the Right People at the Right Time: How Interoperable Data Help America's Students Succeed

Data Quality Campaign (DQC 2007).
This paper reviews the needs for, benefits of, and concurrent efforts to establish interoperable education systems. It offers several key definitions, a case study section, and a list of interoperability examples from other industries.

SIF Association Implementation Toolkit

SIF Association (2009).
This collection of documents are intended to help education institutions with the SIF implementation process. It includes planning questions (scope, desired automation, data needs, expected changes), RFP language, an implementation planning toolkit, and SIF support resources.

Analysis of Costs and Benefits Associated with Implementing SIF

SIF Association (2006).
This third-party study looks at three school districts' experiences with SIF implementation and concludes that SIF standards helped to dramatically improve data interoperability, student achievement, funding increases, and student services. This study may be used to bolster the case for SIF implementation.

Data Interoperability in PK–12 School Applications

SIF Association (2006).
This brief discusses interoperability and SIF, its benefits to P–12 education, current progress, and suggestions for moving forward.

SIFA University

SIF Association (2006).
This site offers online overview modules and information on training courses offered by the SIF Association.

SCORM and SIF—Leveraging Work for Successful Solutions

SIF Association (2006).
This brief discusses two organizations' standards for interoperability: SIFA's standards (SIF) and those of Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), which are called SCORM. This piece introduces each and suggests that organizations consider both when pursuing interoperability.

SIF Specifications

This page includes the latest SIF implementation specifications. Access is free.

Data Portability Project

The Data Portability Project promotes the idea that individuals have control over their data (regardless of the entity that holds the data) and can determine how the information can be use and by whom.

In the news...

The SIFication of America

Schater, R. (2009). District Administration, March 2009.
This article reports on districts' growing effort to streamline data exchange and management through the adoption of SIF.

Chapter 11. Staying "There": Ensuring System Sustainability


Wisconsin Case Study: Building a Student-Level Longitudinal Data System

Data Quality Campaign (DQC 2006).
Pages 4–5 of this case study include a list of estimated costs to the state to implement a vendor-developed student ID system and student-level enrollment data collection. Costs are broken up by year and source. A discussion of costs and extra burdens imposed on districts is also provided.

South Carolina Case Study: Building a Student-Level Longitudinal Data System

Data Quality Campaign (DQC 2007).
Pages 6–7 of this case study include a list of estimated costs to the state to implement SIF standards, bring in extra staff, upgrade infrastructure, and implement a state data manager and a new data warehouse. A discussion of costs and extra burdens imposed on districts is also provided.

State Data to Improve Achievement

Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (2006).
This document is a request to the Washington Legislature to fully fund a two-year, $2.9 million statewide longitudinal student database project. The document sets the stage with relevant history; and discusses the need for the proposed system, as well as the associated costs. The system is meant to facilitate daily data extractions from districts, replace existing single-year achievement databases with longitudinal achievement and demographic ones, and build and implement value-add tools.

Chapter 12. Marketing and Communicating About Your LDS


Creating Longitudinal Data Systems: Lessons Learned by Leading States

Data Quality Campaign (DQC 2006).
This document summarizes findings and offers lessons learned from case studies of four leading states that vary in terms of LDS progress, public and political support for LDS, and the focus of their LDS efforts.

Strategic Communications Planning

Fleet, D. (2008). DaveFleet.com.
Written from a business perspective but intended for a broader audience including the public sector, this free, electronic book guides the reader through the development of a communications plan. Covered marketing goals relevant to an LDS project include educating stakeholders, building support, and creating demand. This resource may be useful from the early stages of stakeholder analysis through crafting and spreading your message, estimating costs, and evaluating the results of your efforts.

Marketing Your Field of Dreams: The Process of Obtaining and Sustaining Buy-in

ESP Solutions (2007).
Written from the state's perspective, this document offers strategies on how to use various marketing techniques to gain buy-in for a technology project. A marketing plan is outlined to help your organization gain stakeholder support.

Education Leadership Toolkit: The Communication Plan

National School Boards Foundation.
This free, online resource addresses issues around technology and education and offers many tips, articles, case studies and other resources for education leaders. Though it is designed for a district-level audience, much of the advice may be used more broadly. This section focuses on developing a successful communication plan. See the community involvement section as well.

DATA/KIDS III Projects: Integrated Communications Plan

Oregon Department of Education (2009).
This document details the state's communication plan and governance structure for its professional development program and data system.

Developing Political Support and the Will to Build and Use Longitudinal Education Data Systems

Pennsylvania Department of Education and Florida Department of Education (2006)
This presentation reviews lessons learned by Pennsylvania and Florida when marketing their states' LDSs. Emphasis is on having and consistently communicating a clear vision, and on being persistent to maintain support over the long term.

External Communications Plan Example

Michigan Department of Education (2007).
This document presents a template for organizing committees and facilitating ongoing communications about an LDS project. It outlines the various roles and activities of these groups and their members, as well as suggesting ground rules for meetings.

Marketing and Communicating the LDS Project—Florida

Florida Department of Education.
This short presentation offers some tips on marketing an LDS.

Chapter 13. Procurement Planning: Build or Buy?


An Examination of the Trade-off Between Internal and External IT Capabilities

Nevo, S.; Wade, M.; and Cook., W. (2007). Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 16(1); 5–23.
This study explores the tension between internal and external IT capabilities on the realization of enhanced IT productivity. It focuses on short-term, small scale consulting rather than the large scale, multiyear outsourcing that often occurs in LDS development. In that respect, its applicability is limited here. However, it offers insights into the relationship between in-house staff and vendors; and may help enlighten your decision on whether to buy or build, and how to proceed down the path you choose.

Data Quality Campaign Vendors Page

This page lists which states are using vendors to help them develop LDS components.
These results are from the 2008 DQC Survey.

Technology @ Your Fingertips

National Forum on Education Statistics (1998).
See pages 50–57 for general discussions on conducting a build vs. buy analysis, finding a product to fit your needs, and other related issues. While not specific to an LDS project, this resource offers some relevant tips. Page 57 includes a list of sample questions that might be used to interview vendor references.

Data Tools for School Improvement

Bernhardt, V. (2005). Educational Leadership 62(5), 66-69.
This article discusses the three types of data tools available—data warehouses, student information systems, and instructional management systems—and their uses; as well as how to make good purchasing decisions, get what your organization wants and needs, how to deal with vendors, etc.

Chapter 14. Writing a Strong Request for Proposals


Lessons Learned: Writing RFPs for State Data Systems

Smith, N. (2004). Education Commission of the States/InfoSynthesis.
This report summarizes findings from a survey of three state education agencies and offers a host of RFP writing principles and tips. Two RFP examples are provided at the end of the document.

Writing RFPs for State Data Systems: Lessons Learned

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information, and Ohio Department of Education (2007).
This file includes presentations from three states on lessons learned in RFP writing.

LDS Share

Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education.
Coordinated by the IES Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program, this web resource contains a collection of state-level RFPs submitted by education agencies.

SIF Association Recommended RFP Language

SIF Association (2009).
This document offers language to include in your RFP if your agency wants to purchase an application based on SIF standards. It requests documentation of SIF certification, SIF implementation experience, agent costs, zone integration server(s) offered, SIF Association participation, and SIF support offered to clients.

Virginia Case Study: Building a Student-Level Longitudinal Data System

Data Quality Campaign (DQC 2006).
See pages 6–7 for helpful tips on RFP writing and evaluating bids.

Forum Guide to Decision Support Systems: A Resource for Educators

National Forum on Education Statistics (2006).
See this guide's appendix for an overview of issues that may be included in a decision support system RFP. There is considerable overlap between these requirements and those that might be included in an LDS.

Technology @ Your Fingertips

National Forum on Education Statistics (1998).
Pages 57–59 of this resource offer a brief introduction of RFPs and a sample RFP table of contents to help guide the writing process. It also discusses requests for information (RFI) and interviewing references, including questions to ask interviewees.

Chapter 15. Are We "There" Yet? Evaluating Your LDS


Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Ohio's D3A2 Initiative

Juillerat, B. and James, E. (2006). Ohio Department of Education.
This presentation introduces Ohio's LDS evaluation plans and summarizes the state's system as well as the criteria for, and methods used in, a planned system evaluation.

Arkansas Department of Education LDS Evaluation

Metis Associates. IES SLDS Grantee Meeting Presentation (2006).
This presentation by Arkansas' evaluation vendor gives an overview of the state's LDS and discusses its approach to evaluating that system. A basic overview of evaluation criteria, methods, and timeline are provided.

Everybody Loves Evaluation

Indiana Department of Education (2008).
This presentation details the state's evaluation process. It outlines the purposes of the LDS evaluation, procedures used, activities, and sample findings.

You Say You Want Evaluation

Arkansas Department of Education (2008).
This presentation reviews the findings of a survey of districts intended to evaluate perceptions of the state's LDS. Questions seek to ascertain users' perceptions about the system's most useful functions, ease and frequency of use, success in improving data quality, and effects on student performance.

LDS Share

The following evaluation-related documents are available at /programs/slds/ldsshare/slds.aspx:

Longitudinal Data System Implementation and Impact Evaluation RFP

Ohio Department of Education (2006).
Ohio solicited competitive proposals for its LDS Implementation and Impact Evaluation of 2006–2009, and this RFP is the result of that request. The purpose of the evaluation is to measure the implementation and impact of the LDS, including related professional development, quality, and effectiveness in meeting the reporting and decision support needs of all its key stakeholders; and, ultimately, its effectiveness in closing achievement gaps and in generating academic improvement in all students.

Supporting Ohio's Longitudinal Data System through Evaluation: A Proposal to the Ohio Department of Education

Ohio Department of Education (2006).
This document is the winning proposal, submitted by Hezel Associates LLC, to Ohio's LDS Implementation and Impact Evaluation RFP.

Supporting D3A2 Professional Development through Evaluation: A Report to the Ohio Department of Education

Ohio Department of Education (2007).
This report offers key findings from an evaluation of Ohio's LDS, focusing on data usage practices and professional development efforts. Key findings and recommendations are followed by discussions of methodology and more detailed discussions of evaluation findings.

Supporting D3A2 Professional Development through Evaluation: A Preliminary Annual Report to the Ohio Department of Education

Ohio Department of Education (2007).
This LDS evaluation report follows up on the previous one. It offers key recommendations for future LDS efforts, focusing on implementation and expanding on earlier recommendations to improve professional development efforts. Key findings and recommendations are followed by discussions of methodology and more detailed discussions of evaluation findings.

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