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November 2008 Grantee Meeting

Summary
Presentations
 Session IHow Can an LDS Support Instructional Decisions?
 Session IIProgress and Challenge—An Update on EDFacts Submissions across the Country, and How States are Using SLDS to Improve Business Process
 Session IIIAssessing SEA Decision Support Processes and Technology
 Session IVBridging the LDS Communities—Experiences of Building a P20 System
 Session VAligning the Railroad Tracks—Creating the Right Pathways between PK-12 and Higher Education
 Session VITelling Compelling Stories with Numbers
 Session VIISpecial Delivery—How States are Providing Data Resources
 Session VIIIEverybody Loves Evaluation
 Session IXWhose Got Whoville’s Data?
 Session XNebraska’s Data Validation Process

Summary:

The Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program (SLDS) hosted its third Annual Fall Grantee Meeting on November 13-14, 2008, in Arlington, VA. The Meeting served as a forum for dialogue, collaboration, and the sharing of best practices, providing the opportunity for more than 70 representatives from the twenty seven FY2006 and FY2007 grantee states to share solutions and ideas with one another and to take home information on topics they identified as critical to their projects in the upcoming year.


Presentations


Session I

How Can an LDS Support Instructional Decisions?

  Presenters:
Neal Gibson, Arkansas Department of Education
Ellen Mandinach, REL Appalachia
 

As states begin to build Longitudinal Data Systems with amazing analytical capabilities, two key problems arise. The “crown jewels” of data for LDS are understandably end of year tests and other accountability data, which are simply not suited for instructional support decisions. In addition, as we increase the amount of data to which educators have access, they tend to consume more and more of their attention. A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. This presentation will suggest strategies for dealing with both issues.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
Data for Teaching & Learning and Data for Compliance Zip File (200 KB)
Data-Informed Decision Making: A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention Zip File (1.2 MB)

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Session II Progress and Challenge—An Update on EDFacts Submissions across the Country, and How States are Using SLDS to Improve Business Process
  Presenters:
Ross Santy, U.S. Department of Education
Anne Brinson, Indiana Department of Education
Baron Rodriguez, Oregon Department of Education
Challis Breithaupt, Maryland State Department of Education
Rod Packard, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
 

All SEAs are moving towards complete reporting to EDFacts, starting with the 2008-2009 school year. As states progress through the two-year transition period since publication of the EDFacts regulations, they have been making constant progress towards the goal of more seamless processes to report timely and complete data to USED. This session will provide an update on EDFacts, its data requirements, new reporting functionality for states, and the implications of FERPA and other privacy laws on making more data available to all states. The session will also highlight recent efforts to coordinate data submissions for EDFacts with data requests by the State Education Data Center. The session will also highlight recent work in four states to build upon the data infrastructure of SLDS to ensure improved reporting to both the public and to EDFacts.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
EDFacts Update Progress and Challenge Zip File (385 KB)

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Session III Assessing SEA Decision Support Processes and Technology
  Presenter:
Rick Rozzelle, CELT
Tom Ogle, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
 

In 2004–05, 26 SEAs participated in a CCSSO sponsored effort to assess each participating state’s ability to use its systems and processes to improve student achievement.  The effort was called the Decision Support Architecture Consortium or DSAC.  A subsequent effort, called DSAC II, developed tools for SEAs to use to similarly assess their districts.  The initial 26-state DSAC reports were valuable resources for establishing important strategic initiatives and justifying the costs.  SEAs are now being offered the opportunity to update these initial reports or have a report completed if they were not in the first round.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Decision Support Architecture Consortium Zip File (1.6 MB)

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Session IV Bridging the LDS Communities—Experiences of Building a P20 System
  Presenters:
Mark Vocca, Connecticut Department of Education
Mary Johnson, Connecticut Department of Higher Education
Roger Therrien, Connecticut Department of Labor
 

As education longitudinal systems increasingly grow in importance, states are realizing the benefits of an integrated system beyond the K-12 level. By connecting these systems with postsecondary, early education, labor, and other existing systems, states are increasing the capacity of their data to improve management and education decision making. Although several benefits have been found to exist with integrated systems, the barriers and hurdles that are experienced can prove challenging. To foster the discussion around the benefits and challenges of connecting systems (and ultimately agencies), this session will highlight recent approaches undertaken in a state and discuss the challenges and benefits experienced to-date.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
Bridging the LDS Communities in CT - Part 1 Zip File (1.3 MB)
Bridging the LDS Communities in CT - Part 2 Zip File (1.3 MB)

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Session V Aligning the Railroad Tracks—Creating the Right Pathways between PK-12 and Higher Education
  Presenters:
Larry Fruth, Schools Interoperability Framework Association
Michael Sessa, Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council
 

PESC and SIFA will outline the work done to date, work underway, and future opportunities in leveraging collaborations between pK12 and higher education standards communities. With the increased emphasis nationally around the pK12-HE “pipeline” everything in regards to seamless data flow seems to be on the table for discussion within and between states. The PESC and SIFA have been collaborating on the development of some of these components including student transcript alignment, the beginnings of a national pK20 Data Model and future opportunities around infrastructure, security and needs assessments between the two communities they serve. Bring your “wishes” to the table in this session as we identify effective practices and ideally grow the need for continued pK12 and Higher Education collaborations.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
Aligning the Railroad Tracks Zip File (14 KB)

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Session VI Telling Compelling Stories with Numbers
  Presenters:
Stephen Few, Perceptual Edge
 

Information, no matter how important, cannot speak for itself. It relies on you to give it a clear voice to tell its story. In education, the challenge merely begins with collecting vital data, for you must then make sense of it and pass it on to others, accurately and clearly. No information is more critical to your work than quantitative measures—numbers that reveal what’s happening, how you’re performing, and opportunities to do better. Most of these numbers are communicated in tables and graphs, but few are properly designed, resulting not only in poor communication, but at times even in miscommunication. This is a travesty, because the skills needed to communicate quantitative information effectively are simple to learn—simple, but not intuitive. Stephen Few, author of Show Me the Numbers and Information Dashboard Design, will introduce these simple skills and the common mistakes you ought to avoid through examples of both good and bad quantitative communication.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Telling Compelling Stories with Numbers Zip File (521 KB)

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Session VII Special Delivery—How States are Providing Data Resources
  Presenters:
Sidney Fadaoff and Steve King, Alaska Department of Education
John Brandt, Utah State Office of Education
Dan Domagala, Colorado Department of Education
Jackie Nunn and Dianne Tracey, Maryland State Department of Education/Johns Hopkins University
Jeff Sellers, Florida Department of Education
 

Many states have been working diligently in an effort to collect more comprehensive and accurate longitudinal student data. These efforts require both the ability to effectively collect the data and then make the data available to a wide array of audiences to provide them the information needed to evaluate and improve instructions and programs. Information recipients include teachers, district and school administrators, and state education, legislative, and executive stakeholders. In this session five states will highlight their most recent work in these areas via web portals and business intelligence tools. Topics will range from how to determine meaningful report to states put their portal in place. States will share their current work along with developments planned for the future, and provide the opportunity for the audience to ask questions and dig deeper into the programs being developed.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Alaska Unity Portal Project Zip File (1.3 MB)
Colorado Growth Model Zip File (508 KB)
Florida’s Education Information Hub Zip File (83 KB)
Kentucky Instructional Data System Zip File (1.1 MB)
Maryland Special Education Data Gateway Zip File (371 KB)
Utah's BI Initiatives Zip File (2.1 MB)

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Session VIII

Everybody Loves Evaluation

  Presenters:
Molly Chamberlin and John Keller, Indiana Department of Education
Terri Akey, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University
Neal Gibson, Arkansas Department of Education
 

Methods for evaluating SLDS projects are relatively undefined, and it can be difficult to ensure that evaluation techniques will tell you what you really need to know. It’s important to have a clear plan in place, as well as to ensure that you and those doing the evaluation are on the same page. This session will show evaluation approaches by two states. Indiana will discuss the steps taken to select an evaluator, including the development of a logic model and evaluation questions, as well as the design of their evaluation, activities they have undertaken, and next steps in the evaluation process. Indiana will also share some of the tools they developed in conjunction with their evaluator (the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University). Arkansas will share the evaluation tools they employed, how they assured good response rates for their surveys, and some early findings.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Everybody Loves Evaluation Zip File (852 KB)
You Say You Want Evaluation Zip File (68 KB)

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Session IX Whose Got Whoville’s Data?
  Presenters:
Baron Rodriguez, Oregon Department of Education
Meg Ropp, Center for Educational Performance and Information/State of Michigan
 

This session will provide an overview of Oregon's statewide effort to provide professional development to educational professionals on proper analysis and use of student data.  Michigan will share how they are getting data out to educators to improve student learning.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
Collaborative Approaches to Educ Data Training and Prof Dvlp Zip File (484 KB)
Oregon DATA Project Direct Access to Achievement Zip File (1.9 MB)
Who’s Got Whoville’s Data Zip File (427 KB)

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Session X Nebraska’s Data Validation Process
Presenters:
Pam Tagart, Nebraska Department of Education
Bob Beecham, Nebraska Department of Education

What is valid data?  NDE has developed an application with help from program staff to validate data using state business rules. This is part of Nebraska’s overall data quality initiative. Nebraska Student and Staff Record System (NSSRS) is comprised of eScholar Complete Data Warehouse and NSSRS Validation. This presentation will address the development of the NSSRS Validation.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
Nebraska's Data Validation Process Zip File (887 KB)
Quick Reference NE Validation pdf File (254 KB)

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