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Publications

The SLDS team produces various types of products to capture best practices from the field and meet the evolving needs of the community. This publications page includes Best Practices, Webinar Summaries, and State Spotlights. Select from the bar below to explore our growing library. Please contact Kristen King with suggestions for future products.

Recent

P-20W+ Best Practices
P-20W+ Best Practices
July 2014
P-20W+ Best Practices

For some states, the challenge of linking data across the P-20W+ spectrum may be met best by creating a separate entity responsible for building and maintaining a P-20W+ data system. This document details some best practices in the development, governance, and sustainability of such systems, stemming from discussions with states that have successfully implemented P-20W+ entities.

Download PDF File (241 KB)

CEDS and SLDS – Aligning Efforts
CEDS and SLDS – Aligning Efforts
July 2014
CEDS and SLDS – Aligning Efforts

This publication details how the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) and its associated tools can help states in all phases of developing SLDSs address data management challenges. It highlights the work of two states—Kansas and North Carolina—as they use CEDS to move forward with their SLDS efforts.

Download PDF File (852 KB)

State Approaches to SLDS Branding
State Approaches to SLDS Branding
July 2014
State Approaches to SLDS Branding

For statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs), branding can help raise awareness and recognition of the system and its role in informing the state's education system. When associated with helpful products and positive interactions, branding can foster trust, dependence, and support among SLDS stakeholders. This brief highlights the approaches several states have taken to branding their SLDSs.

Download PDF File (515 KB)

SLDS Data Use Standards: Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Behaviors for Effective Data Use
SLDS Data Use Standards: Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Behaviors for Effective Data Use
July 2014
SLDS Data Use Standards: Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Behaviors for Effective Data Use

As state and local education agencies increasingly focus on serving educators with their data systems, many face the common challenge of identifying the critical knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors needed by teachers and administrators to use data effectively. This publication aims to provide a common foundation to inform and help states develop data literacy and data use training activities for educators.

Download PDF File (785 KB)

The Framework for Data Systems
The Framework for Data Systems
May 2014
The Framework for Data Systems

The Framework for Data Systems includes the components necessary to build and support an effective SLDS. This publication describes the six key framework components: Purpose/Vision, Stakeholder Engagement, Data Governance, System Design, Data Use, and Sustainability.

Download PDF File (706 KB)

Data Quality: Striking a Balance
Data Quality: Striking a Balance
May 2014
Data Quality: Striking a Balance

Data quality and data quantity are not mutually exclusive; both are important to pursue, but given finite resources and time, states often must decide which aspects of data quality to prioritize. This publication describes the attributes of data quality and approaches to improving it.

Download PDF File (249 KB)

Total Cost of Ownership
Total Cost of Ownership: An Important Piece of Any Sustainability Plan
April 2014
Total Cost of Ownership: An Important Piece of Any Sustainability Plan

As with any development of education data systems, it is important to know and articulate what is needed for the ongoing support and maintenance of the data system, and to have the capacity to make needed modifications and enhancements to ensure its long-term usefulness and relevance. To do this, a total cost of ownership (TCO) must be defined. States need to consider not only how to quantify TCO, but also how to use this information to market the SLDS as a whole.

Download PDF File (403 KB)

Contingency Planning: How to Think About Options
Contingency Planning: How to Think About Options
March 2014
Contingency Planning: How to Think About Options

Even with careful planning, SLDSs can be hit with unexpected issues during their development. Project leaders from Washington State and Louisiana share their processes for contingency planning, including how they approach risk management, how they handled issues that surfaced, and what they could have done differently.

Download PDF File (238 KB)

Quick Guide to Branding and Promoting the SLDS
Quick Guide to Branding and Promoting the SLDS
March 2014
Quick Guide to Branding and Promoting the SLDS

Long-term support and success of an SLDS happen only when its stakeholders are familiar with what the system does, understand how it benefits them, and recognize the value of its outputs. This publication provides a starting point for state leaders seeking to brand their SLDS and promote it to stakeholders.

Download PDF File (346 KB)

What is an Early Childhood Integrated Data System?
What is an Early Childhood Integrated Data System?
March 2014
What is an Early Childhood Integrated Data System?

An Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS) collects, integrates, maintains, stores, and reports information from early childhood programs across multiple agencies within a state that serve children and families from birth to age eight. This document describes whom an ECIDS serves, what the purpose is, and how an ECIDS is connected to an SLDS system.

Download PDF File (673 KB)

Researcher Access to the SLDS
Researcher Access to the SLDS
January 2014
Researcher Access to the SLDS

Providing data for research purposes offers exciting opportunities for states with statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs), and it also presents challenges. Managing data requests, safeguarding privacy, and ensuring proper use are all tasks that must be approached with care and proper planning. Kansas, Virginia, and Kentucky share their processes for receiving and responding to researcher requests for SLDS data.

Download PDF File (2.5 MB)

Target Team

Target Team documents provides content that focuses on engaging stakeholders, data use, and sustainability within an SLDS context.

The Framework for Data Systems
The Framework for Data Systems
May 2014
The Framework for Data Systems

The Framework for Data Systems includes the components necessary to build and support an effective SLDS. This publication describes the six key framework components: Purpose/Vision, Stakeholder Engagement, Data Governance, System Design, Data Use, and Sustainability.

Download PDF File (706 KB)

Total Cost of Ownership
Total Cost of Ownership: An Important Piece of Any Sustainability Plan
April 2014
Total Cost of Ownership: An Important Piece of Any Sustainability Plan

As with any development of education data systems, it is important to know and articulate what is needed for the ongoing support and maintenance of the data system, and to have the capacity to make needed modifications and enhancements to ensure its long-term usefulness and relevance. To do this, a total cost of ownership (TCO) must be defined. States need to consider not only how to quantify TCO, but also how to use this information to market the SLDS as a whole.

Download PDF File (403 KB)

Developing a Data Use Strategy
Developing a Data Use Strategy
August 2013
Developing a Data Use Strategy

This publication aims to help states detail the current status of their SLDS data use strategy and identify concrete next steps to further develop the strategy. The content is based on the State Support Team’s (SST) February 2013 Data Use Workshop at the MIS Data Conference as presented by Corey Chatis.

Download PDF File (1.39 MB)

State Desired Outcomes and Determine Purpose Statement: An In-Depth Look
State Desired Outcomes and Determine Purpose Statement: An In-Depth Look
July 2013
State Desired Outcomes and Determine Purpose Statement: An In-Depth Look

This is the first of several documents that take an in-depth look at the steps included in Stakeholder Land, a six-step plan for successful stakeholder engagement. While the Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit provides a general framework of Stakeholder Land, each step of the process is meant to be discussed in more detail. This document provides details regarding Step 1: State Desired Outcomes, and Step 2: Determine Purpose.

Download PDF File (2.01 MB)

Stakeholder Engagement & Sustainability: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS
Stakeholder Engagement & Sustainability: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS
May 2013
Stakeholder Engagement & Sustainability: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS

This brief discusses stakeholder engagement and sustainability, and how both work together toward creating a balanced and efficient SLDS. It includes state examples and SST tips on how to effectively use stakeholder engagement to support a sustainable SLDS. This publication is part of a series of three briefs focusing on the relationships among stakeholder engagement, data use, and sustainability.

Download PDF File (299 KB)

Data Use & Sustainability: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS
Data Use & Sustainability: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS
May 2013
Data Use & Sustainability: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS

This brief addresses the role data use and sustainability play in creating an SLDS that has long-term support. It includes state examples and SST tips on how to facilitate effective data use to establish and sustain an SLDS program. This publication is part of a series of three briefs focusing on the relationships among stakeholder engagement, data use, and sustainability.

Download PDF File (380 KB)

Stakeholder Engagement & Data Use: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS
Stakeholder Engagement & Data Use: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS
May 2013
Stakeholder Engagement & Data Use: Helping Stakeholders Get the Most from an SLDS

This brief addresses the roles stakeholder engagement and data use play in creating an SLDS that is responsive to users' needs and well utilized. It includes state examples and SST tips on how to use stakeholder engagement to establish and sustain widespread, effective data use. This publication is part of a series of three briefs focusing on the relationships among stakeholder engagement, data use, and sustainability.

Download PDF File (571 KB)

SLDS Sustainability Toolkit
SLDS Sustainability Toolkit
April 2013
SLDS Sustainability Toolkit

This document is intended to serve as a companion to the Sustainability Planning Guide and the Sustainability Self-Assessment Tool, and offers resources and best practices that will benefit states as they focus on developing sustainable systems.

Download PDF File (704 KB)

SLDS Sustainability Planning Guide
SLDS Sustainability Planning Guide
April 2013
SLDS Sustainability Planning Guide

The SLDS Sustainability Planning Guide offer practical suggestions and resources for each step in the overall process of maintaining a sustainable SLDS.

Download PDF File (2.79 MB)

Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit: Traversing 'Stakeholder Land'
Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit: Traversing ‘Stakeholder Land’
April 2013
Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit: Traversing 'Stakeholder Land'

This stakeholder engagement toolkit guides readers through "Stakeholder Land," an imaginary board game that helps SEAs and LEAs develop a strategic approach towards stakeholder engagement.

Download PDF File (1.4 MB)

Best Practices Briefs

Best Practice Guides provide lessons learned and targeted strategies to help states overcome common obstacles to creating a high-quality SLDS.

Elevator Speeches
Elevator Speeches
September 2013
Elevator Speeches

Whether states are in the planning stages, in the throes of dashboard design, or wrapping up their SLDS grant, it is important to keep in mind the objectives behind the work. This Best Practices Brief discusses the exercise of developing an "elevator speech" to explain SLDS projects to high-level, non-technical decisionmakers and policymakers. It includes state examples of elevator speeches created at a meeting of FY12 SLDS grantees in May 2013.

Download PDF File (964 KB)

Effective Implementation of Statewide Standardized Course Codes
Effective Implementation of Statewide Standardized Course Codes
August 2012
Effective Implementation of Statewide Standardized Course Codes

Statewide standardization of course codes is becoming increasingly prevalent as states conduct new kinds of analyses, implement the Common Core State Standards, and link student and teacher data. Standardized course codes improve the state’s and its districts’ ability to gather long-term data on courses taken and teacher performance, while measuring the impact of both on student learning. This product provides best practices and lessons learned offered by Alaska, Ohio, and Maryland regarding the implementation of statewide standardized course codes.

Download PDF File (1.17 MB)

P-20W Data Governance
P-20W Data Governance
May 2012
P-20W Data Governance

Data governance is necessary for creating clear roles and responsibilities for each member of any project team: it establishes responsibility for data, organizing program area/agency staff to collaboratively and continuously improve data quality through the systematic creation and enforcement of policies, roles, responsibilities, and procedures. This SLDS Best Practices Brief provides an overview of data governance and discusses the work of and effective practices from three states experienced with P-20W data governance.

Download PDF File (3.9 MB)

Vendor Engagement: SLDS Best Practices Brief
Vendor Engagement: SLDS Best Practices Brief
March 2012
Vendor Engagement: SLDS Best Practices Brief

Most state education agencies use vendors in support of their education data projects. Establishing and maintaining successful state-vendor relationships are key in the cost effective creation of high quality products. In a call sponsored by the SLDS Grant Program, representatives from three states shared experiences and offered tips on establishing proactive communication, building strong relationships, and maintaining flexibility with vendors to ensure successful outcomes.

Download PDF File (3.2 MB)

Alternative Sources of Support for SLDS Work: SLDS Best Practices Brief
Alternative Sources of Support for SLDS Work: SLDS Best Practices Brief
September 2011
Alternative Sources of Support for SLDS Work: SLDS Best Practices Brief

Critical to the longevity and ultimate success of an SLDS is the acquisition of funding or other resources from multiple sources of support. This SLDS Best Practices Brief summarizes the tips and lessons learned shared by representatives from Arkansas, Colorado, and Texas on a monthly SLDS topical webinar facilitated by Corey Chatis of the SLDS State Support Team. Specific topics covered include supporter identification, relationship initiation, and effective communication to ensure engagement and sustained support.

Download PDF File (656 KB)

Stakeholder Communication: SLDS Best Practices Brief
Stakeholder Communication: SLDS Best Practices Brief
May 2011
Stakeholder Communication: SLDS Best Practices Brief

Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon participated in a discussion with Robin Taylor of the SLDS State Support Team around stakeholder communications. The SLDS Best Practices Brief captures the strategies, best practices, and lessons learned from these states’ experiences.

Download PDF File (597 KB)

Spotlights

SLDS Spotlights highlight a one or several state’s achievements, products, and topics related to SLDS.

State Approaches to SLDS Branding
State Approaches to SLDS Branding
July 2014
State Approaches to SLDS Branding

For statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs), branding can help raise awareness and recognition of the system and its role in informing the state's education system. When associated with helpful products and positive interactions, branding can foster trust, dependence, and support among SLDS stakeholders. This brief highlights the approaches several states have taken to branding their SLDSs.

Download PDF File (515 KB)

Oregon's Direct Access to Achievement (DATA) Project
Oregon's Direct Access to Achievement (DATA) Project
April 2013
Oregon's Direct Access to Achievement (DATA) Project

The primary goal of the Oregon DATA Project is to help teachers and administrators learn how to gather, interpret, and use data to improve instruction. This SLDS Spotlight highlights the phases of the Project—including training, certification, and conferences--and points to valuable resources online.

Download PDF File (693 KB)


Arkansas's Approaches to Identity Management
April 2013
Arkansas's Approaches to Identity Management

Nationwide, states are tasked with using and sharing mass amounts of data for the greatest good: to improve the education experience for students and better prepare them for success in the future. However, states are also tasked with protecting the anonymity and privacy of the same students to whom the data pertain. The Arkansas Research Center (ARC) has taken unprecedented strides to this end through the development of two identity management systems: OYSTER and TrustEd.

Download PDF File (1.09 MB)

Engaging Postsecondary Stakeholders
Data Use Through Visualizations and Narratives
March 2013
Engaging Postsecondary Stakeholders

Data Visualizations and data narratives help users reach a deeper understanding of the education environment by revealing patterns and trends. Narratives and visualizations also help users experience the data in a way that makes them more accessible. In this Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Spotlight, Georgia, Oregon, and Rhode Island share insights on developing resources and tools to create useful data visualizations and narratives, while training educators and others to use data effectively and creatively.

Download PDF File (1.3 MB)

Engaging Postsecondary Stakeholders
Engaging Postsecondary Stakeholders
November 2012
Engaging Postsecondary Stakeholders

The effective engagement of postsecondary stakeholders is crucial to the development of a successful P-20W (preschool through workforce) data system. While many states have mandated postsecondary participation in P-20W systems, all states should cultivate strong relationships among the different P-20W institutions, ensuring that postsecondary stakeholders (for-profit colleges, four-year universities, community colleges) for instance, share in the benefits of P-20W data linkages. This Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Spotlight discusses the challenges faced and lessons learned by Washington, Connecticut, Illinois, and Maine in their efforts to engage with the postsecondary community.

Download PDF File (536 KB)

State Approaches to Engaging Local K12 Stakeholders
State Approaches to Engaging Local K12 Stakeholders
August 2012
State Approaches to Engaging Local K12 Stakeholders

Engaging with local K12 stakeholders is critical to ensuring the successful development of statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS), as well as to improving utility and sustainability. Involving staff from multiple districts helps to identify, align, and leverage existing resources. This SLDS Spotlight discusses the strategies used and lessons learned by Virginia, Oregon, Iowa, and Washington, DC through efforts to engage with stakeholders.

Download PDF File (596 KB)

SLDS Spotlight: Development and Use of Early Warning Systems
SLDS Spotlight: Development and Use of Early Warning Systems
April 2012
Early Warning Systems: SLDS Spotlight

An early warning system is a data-based tool that helps predict which students are on the right path towards eventual graduation or other grade-appropriate goals. Through such systems, stakeholders at the school and district levels can view data from a wide range of perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of student data. This SLDS Spotlight discusses the development and use of early warning systems in Maine, Massachusetts, and South Carolina and offers tips for states interested in implementing one.

Download PDF File (1.46 MB)

Regional Service Centers: SLDS Spotlight
Regional Service Centers: SLDS Spotlight
January 2012
Regional Service Centers: SLDS Spotlight

A regional service center (RSC) can be a significant link between state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs), by performing a wide range of duties such as organizing, cleaning, and analyzing data; and designing professional development programs. This SLDS Spotlight discusses the functions of RSCs in Iowa, Oregon, and New York, including the states’ relationships with the centers and the benefits that result.

Download PDF File (1.4 MB)

Mississippi's Approach to Building a P-20W Data Model: SLDS Spotlight
Mississippi's Approach to Building a P-20W Data Model: SLDS Spotlight
January 2012
Mississippi's Approach to Building a P-20W Data Model: SLDS Spotlight

Nationwide, states are expanding K12 education data collection to include pre-kindergarten through higher education and workforce data, known as P-20W data. The state of Mississippi developed a P-20W data model to guide the development of an SLDS. In an SLDS Grant Program webinar, representatives from Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (nSPARC) outlined a process for building a data model that integrates P-20W data for the purpose of tracking education outcomes.

Download PDF File (585 KB)

Guides

Guides provide in-depth knowledge about an SLDS-related topic, and include strategies, advice, and tips from states.

SLDS Data Use Standards: Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Behaviors for Effective Data Use
SLDS Data Use Standards: Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Behaviors for Effective Data Use
July 2014
SLDS Data Use Standards: Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Behaviors for Effective Data Use

As state and local education agencies increasingly focus on serving educators with their data systems, many face the common challenge of identifying the critical knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors needed by teachers and administrators to use data effectively. This publication aims to provide a common foundation to inform and help states develop data literacy and data use training activities for educators.

Download PDF File (785 KB)

SLDS Early Childhood Planning Guide
SLDS Early Childhood Planning Guide
April 2013
SLDS Early Childhood Planning Guide

The SLDS Early Childhood Planning Guide is a supplemental resource for the SLDS Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool, and offers practical suggestions and resources for each step in the overall process of integrating EC data into an SLDS.

Download PDF File (9.01 MB)

Growth Models: Issues and Advice from the States
Growth Models: Issues and Advice from the States
July 2012
Growth Models: Issues and Advice from the States

An increasing number of states are developing and implementing growth models for teacher evaluation and school accountability purposes, student comparison, and federal compliance. This SLDS Guide on growth models contains strategies, best practices, and challenges shared by a working group—consisting of state representatives from Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Along with the knowledge shared by the working group, this guide describes the purpose of each growth model used by the working group states, and data elements required.

Download PDF File (3.4 MB)

Issue Briefs

Issue Briefs explore a range of issues related to the effective use of longitudinal education data for research.

P-20W+ Best Practices
P-20W+ Best Practices
July 2014
P-20W+ Best Practices

For some states, the challenge of linking data across the P-20W+ spectrum may be met best by creating a separate entity responsible for building and maintaining a P-20W+ data system. This document details some best practices in the development, governance, and sustainability of such systems, stemming from discussions with states that have successfully implemented P-20W+ entities.

Download PDF File (241 KB)

CEDS and SLDS – Aligning Efforts
CEDS and SLDS – Aligning Efforts
July 2014
CEDS and SLDS – Aligning Efforts

This publication details how the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) and its associated tools can help states in all phases of developing SLDSs address data management challenges. It highlights the work of two states—Kansas and North Carolina—as they use CEDS to move forward with their SLDS efforts.

Download PDF File (852 KB)

Data Quality: Striking a Balance
Data Quality: Striking a Balance
May 2014
Data Quality: Striking a Balance

Data quality and data quantity are not mutually exclusive; both are important to pursue, but given finite resources and time, states often must decide which aspects of data quality to prioritize. This publication describes the attributes of data quality and approaches to improving it.

Download PDF File (249 KB)

Quick Guide to Branding and Promoting the SLDS
Quick Guide to Branding and Promoting the SLDS
March 2014
Quick Guide to Branding and Promoting the SLDS

Long-term support and success of an SLDS happen only when its stakeholders are familiar with what the system does, understand how it benefits them, and recognize the value of its outputs. This publication provides a starting point for state leaders seeking to brand their SLDS and promote it to stakeholders.

Download PDF File (346 KB)

What is an Early Childhood Integrated Data System?
What is an Early Childhood Integrated Data System?
March 2014
What is an Early Childhood Integrated Data System?

An Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS) collects, integrates, maintains, stores, and reports information from early childhood programs across multiple agencies within a state that serve children and families from birth to age eight. This document describes whom an ECIDS serves, what the purpose is, and how an ECIDS is connected to an SLDS system.

Download PDF File (673 KB)

ECDG Initial Steps to Establish Data Governance
Early Childhood Data Governance in Action! Initial Steps to Establish Data Governance
March 2014
Early Childhood Data Governance in Action! Initial Steps to Establish Data Governance

This document describes the initial, concrete steps necessary to establish data governance for an early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS). It is intended to support states beginning the process of developing their early childhood data governance program.

Download PDF File (546 KB)

Early Childhood Data Governance in Action
Early Childhood Data Governance in Action! An Introduction
March 2014
Early Childhood Data Governance in Action! An Introduction

Early Childhood Integrated Data Systems (ECIDS) allow agencies and programs to efficiently collect and use robust information about state and local early childhood programs, workforce, and child outcomes. Data governance provides a means to establish a common vision for early childhood data use in the state, with key policy and program decisions supporting that vision. This introduction defines data governance for an ECIDS, identifies who should be involved in it, and describes their roles and responsibilities. It is intended to support states in beginning the process of developing their early childhood data governance.

Download PDF File (1.09 MB)

SLDS Issue Brief: Unique Identifiers: Beyond K12
SLDS Issue Brief: Unique Identifiers: Beyond K12
March 2014
SLDS Issue Brief: Unique Identifiers: Beyond K12

In early childhood, a unique identifier (UID) is an identifier used to associate children, workforce, classes, program sites, and families with their respective data. This brief will support ECIDS leaders in understanding UIDs; communicating the benefit of assigning UIDs in early childhood; understanding possible approaches to assigning UIDs; and identifying key considerations in carrying out the work.

Download PDF File (522 KB)

Everyone On Board: How to Engage Reluctant Stakeholders and Stakeholders Experiencing Leadership Transitions
Everyone On Board: How to Engage Reluctant Stakeholders and Stakeholders Experiencing Leadership Transitions
January 2014
Everyone On Board: How to Engage Reluctant Stakeholders and Stakeholders Experiencing Leadership Transitions

Stakeholder engagement is one of the first challenges facing SLDS project leaders, and it is one that must be revisited throughout the project lifecycle. This publication covers several situations in which engaging stakeholders may be challenging: approaching stakeholders resistant to joining the project; working with stakeholders who lose interest in the project; and maintaining stakeholder engagement through leadership transitions.

Download PDF File (465 KB)

Answering Key Questions with an Early Childhood Data System
Answering Key Questions with an Early Childhood Data System
October 2013
Answering Key Questions with an Early Childhood Data System

In order to build useful early childhood data systems, states must start with a vision for how they plan to use the system and a list of key questions the system will help to answer. This publication outlines the process for developing key policy questions to guide the development and use of an early childhood data system, and it offers examples from states that have generated their own key questions.

Download PDF File (878 KB)

Moving Right Along: Incorporating Head Start Data into an SLDS
Moving Right Along: Incorporating Head Start Data into an SLDS
July 2013
Moving Right Along: Incorporating Head Start Data into an SLDS

This document is the second in a series and explores the journeys of seven states as they work to examine and share Head Start data, both among Head Start agencies and with state agency partners.

Download PDF File (701 KB)

Effective Project Planning and Managing Change
Effective Project Planning and Managing Change
June 2013
Effective Project Planning and Managing Change

Like any project, successful implementation of a statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS) will require modifications to be made to the original plan. Best practices suggest planning for these changes: spending time and effort preparing for change will reduce its potential negative impact and help to secure the success of the SLDS. In this product, the District of Columbia and the State of Washington share strategies and lessons learned when faced with unexpected challenges to their original SLDS plan.

Download PDF File (263 KB)

SLDS Issue Brief: Early Wins
SLDS Issue Brief: Early Wins
May 2013
SLDS Issue Brief: Early Wins

An early win is the implementation of a small outcome or objective that can be realized quickly and early in a project’s timeframe. This SLDS Issue Brief shares the values of early wins, best practices for achieving early wins, and state examples.

Download PDF File (255 KB)

Building a Centralized P-20W Data Warehouse
Building a Centralized P-20W Data Warehouse
March 2013
Building a Centralized P-20W Data Warehouse

For over a decade, many states have tried to link data across the P-20W spectrum, but these efforts were often dominated by a single agency and thus inhibited by political barriers. More recently, some states have succeeded in linking these data by cooperating across multiple sectors to create a new independent agency (or designate an existing one) to be responsible for building and maintaining a centralized P-20W data warehouse. Two such examples are Kentucky and Washington State, whose lessons in building a centralized P-20W data system are shared in this document.

Download PDF File (594 KB)

Getting Started: Incorporating Head Start Data into an SLDS, December 2012
Getting Started: Incorporating Head Start Data into an SLDS
December 2012
Getting Started: Incorporating Head Start Data into an SLDS

This publication offers practical suggestions and resources for each step in the overall process of integrating Head Start data into an SLDS. In a series of calls sponsored by the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Grant Program, state representatives shared experiences and offered tips on engaging Head Start in an SLDS. This document addresses the topics discussed in these calls, including communication and engagement strategies; vendor collaboration; pilot approaches; and providing incentives.

Download PDF File (684 KB)

Centralized vs. Federated: State Approaches to P-20W Data Systems
Centralized vs. Federated: State Approaches to P-20W Data Systems
October 2012
Centralized vs. Federated: State Approaches to P-20W Data Systems

Historically, efforts to create a P-20W data repository resulted in the development and use of a single, centralized data system that contains, maintains, and provides secure access to data from all participating agencies. In recent years, however, an alternative model has emerged in some states for reporting P-20W data—a federated model in which data from participating agencies are temporarily linked to create a report or generate a dataset. This document is intended to help state agencies through the process of determining whether a centralized or federated model will best suit their environment and stakeholder needs.

Download PDF File (601 KB)

P-20W Data Governance Challenge: College and Career Readiness
P-20W Data Governance Challenge: College and Career Readiness
August 2012
P-20W Data Governance Challenge: College and Career Readiness

To illustrate P-20W data governance, this document outlines a project that many states are currently or will soon be working on: determining the readiness of students who complete high school to enter into postsecondary education and the workforce. This policy question is broken down and applied to each level of the P-20W data governance pyramid to show each group’s role in determining how to respond to this key policy question.

Download PDF File (1.66 MB)

Data Use Issue Brief 4
Techniques for Analyzing Longitudinal Administrative Data
July 2012
Data Use Issue Brief 4

Administrative data collected for education-related purposes differ in important ways from research-ready datasets. For this reason, analysis conducted using administrative data also requires a slightly different approach. As with preparing the data, additional work may be required, but this extra work will also allow for powerful and actionable analysis. This brief offers analysts some best practices for effectively using longitudinal administrative data for education research.

Download PDF File (213 KB)

Data Use Issue Brief 3
Turning Administrative Data into Research-Ready Longitudinal Datasets
July 2012
Data Use Issue Brief 3

While statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs) have provided state education agencies and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) with valuable data for education research, because administrative data files are not created specifically for representative longitudinal research, there may be multiple steps involved in preparing the data in order to make it "research ready." This issue brief (and Issue Brief 4) share important information about the SLDS data collection process that is relevant for analysis and may be of particular interest to researchers outside of the education agencies.

Download PDF File (207 KB)

Data Use Issue Brief 2
Forming Research Partnerships with State and Local Education Agencies
July 2012
Data Use Issue Brief 2

Statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs) can provide state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) with a wealth of research data. However, education agency expertise and resources are primarily focused on preparing state and federal reports and conducting analyses for state government, local school boards, and other stakeholders. SEAs and LEAs also value more generalizable education research that benefits from the combined expertise of agency staff and interdisciplinary education researchers. This issue brief draws on discussions with SEA and LEA staff and applied researchers to share helpful advice on forming effective partnerships.

Download PDF File (321 KB)

Webinar Summaries

Webinars provide states a forum to demonstrate SLDS projects, share new SLDS platforms, and discuss major issues affecting system development and use.

Contingency Planning: How to Think About Options
Contingency Planning: How to Think About Options
March 2014
Contingency Planning: How to Think About Options

Even with careful planning, SLDSs can be hit with unexpected issues during their development. Project leaders from Washington State and Louisiana share their processes for contingency planning, including how they approach risk management, how they handled issues that surfaced, and what they could have done differently.

Download PDF File (238 KB)

Researcher Access to the SLDS
Researcher Access to the SLDS
January 2014
Researcher Access to the SLDS

Providing data for research purposes offers exciting opportunities for states with statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs), and it also presents challenges. Managing data requests, safeguarding privacy, and ensuring proper use are all tasks that must be approached with care and proper planning. Kansas, Virginia, and Kentucky share their processes for receiving and responding to researcher requests for SLDS data.

Download PDF File (2.5 MB)

Training Educators to Use SLDS Data
Training Educators to Use SLDS Data
January 2014
Training Educators to Use SLDS Data

With proper training and familiarity with the statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS), educators can use the system to great effect in their schools and classrooms. They can also become powerful advocates for the system's growth and continuation. Delaware, Georgia, and Hawaii share their methods for training teachers and administrators to use SLDS data to support their students.

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Planning for a Sustainable ECIDS
Planning for a Sustainable ECIDS
December 2013
Planning for a Sustainable ECIDS

Sustainability planning not only involves securing funds to meet the system's ongoing operational needs, it also includes considering the personnel, equipment, and other resources needed for the ECIDS to grow and adapt to new needs over time. This publication draws on examples from South Carolina's integrated data system to illustrate successful sustainability planning and data use to support early childhood issues.

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Using DMV Records to Access Social Security Numbers
Using DMV Records to Access Social Security Numbers
November 2013
Using DMV Records to Access Social Security Numbers

States seeking to link data across multiple longitudinal systems often face the challenge of finding common unique identifying information to match records from one system to another. In Idaho, agencies are using driver's license information to help match records between education data systems, which identify individuals by name, date of birth, and gender, and the workforce data system, which uses Social Security Numbers. This publication describes Idaho's process for sharing driver's license information from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and using it to match records across multiple data systems.

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Strategies for Engaging Early Learning Stakeholders
Strategies for Engaging Early Learning Stakeholders
October 2013
Strategies for Engaging Early Learning Stakeholders

Developing a successful early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS) involves input and commitment from a diverse set of stakeholders. This publication explores several strategies for engaging stakeholders in decisionmaking processes, soliciting feedback, and maintaining productive relationships throughout the life of the ECIDS project. The strategies are illustrated by experiences and tips from Wisconsin and other states.

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Early Childhood Data Use: Support Phase
Early Childhood Data Use: Support Phase
September 2013
Early Childhood Data Use: Support Phase

Early childhood data can provide important insights into the potential benefits of early learning on K12 and postsecondary education. This third publication exploring the SST's Data Use Framework for early childhood covers the Support Phase of the framework, drawing on examples of user support, evolution, and sustainability from Minnesota and Missouri. It also discusses findings from education research that can inform data use and analysis in early childhood contexts.

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Engaging Local Stakeholders from Postsecondary and/or Workforce
Engaging Local Stakeholders from Postsecondary and/or Workforce
May 2013
Engaging Local Stakeholders from Postsecondary and/or Workforce

Postsecondary and workforce institutions have valuable information to contribute to longitudinal data systems and also offer unique perspectives on ways to use shared data. This publication discusses challenges and approaches to engaging postsecondary and workforce stakeholders based on the experience of SLDS projects in Washington State, Wisconsin, and Kentucky.

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Measuring and Documenting Return on Investment
Measuring and Documenting Return on Investment
April 2013
Measuring and Documenting Return on Investment

Sustainability for an SLDS can take many forms, the most important of which may be showing the value of the data in informing decisions. Continued support for the SLDS requires showing that the end results are worth the significant investment of time, money, and resources. Using the experiences of Wisconsin, Texas, and Idaho, this publication covers measuring and documenting return on investment (ROI).

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Early Childhood Data Use: Create Phase
Early Childhood Data Use: Create Phase
March 2013
Early Childhood Data Use: Create Phase

Early childhood data can provide important insights into the potential benefits of early learning on K12 and postsecondary education. This second publication exploring the SST's Data Use Framework for early childhood discusses the Create phase of the framework, drawing on examples of data use and stakeholder engagement from Mississippi, Minnesota, and Kentucky.

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Planning for Early Childhood Data Use
Planning for Early Childhood Data Use
January 2013
Planning for Early Childhood Data Use

Early childhood data can helps states to understand early learning’s potential benefit to K12 and postsecondary education. Careful planning of data use ensures that appropriate, relevant data are made available to users, who will then be better able to inform key early childhood decisions. This product discusses how to effectively use early childhood data within the SST-defined data use framework through the experiences of Washington’s and Arkansas’s P-20W agencies.

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Identity Management Approaches: Protecting Access While Serving Multiple Stakeholders
Identity Management Approaches: Protecting Access While Serving Multiple Stakeholders
May 2012
Identity Management Approaches: Protecting Access While Serving Multiple Stakeholders

This webinar detailed two states’ approaches to identity management. Neal Gibson (Arkansas Department of Education’s Arkansas Research Center) and Bob Swiggum (Georgia Department of Education) discussed types of stakeholders served, authentication approaches used, user roles and access rights, district involvement, and privacy and security issues.

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Early Childhood Webinar 6: Head Start and SLDS: Getting to Know You
Early Childhood Webinar 6: Head Start and SLDS: Getting to Know You
March 2012
Early Childhood Webinar 6: Head Start and SLDS: Getting to Know You

The "Head Start and SLDS: Getting to Know You" webinar featured presentations from states on how Head Start fits into their statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS), including the goals of SLDSs and how they align with Head Start; an overview of Head Start and Early Head Start; a discussion of which data are collected, aggregated, and analyzed through Head Start; and case studies from Utah and Missouri.

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Early Childhood Webinar 5: Innovative & Effective Utilization of Early Childhood Data
Early Childhood Webinar 5: Innovative & Effective Utilization of Early Childhood Data
June 2011
Early Childhood Webinar 5: Innovative & Effective Utilization of Early Childhood Data

This webinar addressed innovative use of local early childhood data. The Director of Assessment and Accountability for the Tulsa Community Action Project (CAP) presented CAP’s efforts to gather classroom quality data, child outcomes, and health and workforce data, as well as CAP’s efforts to link these data to area public schools' data systems. The Early Childhood Director for Boston Public Schools presented Boston’s efforts to track school readiness assessment data, classroom quality data, workforce data, and child outcomes from pre-K to the K12 system, as well as how the district has used these data to influence policy and program development.

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Early Childhood Webinar 4: Publication of Early Childhood Data and Its Interface with State Early Childhood Advisory Councils
Early Childhood Webinar 4: Publication of Early Childhood Data and Its Interface with State Early Childhood Advisory Councils
May 2011
Early Childhood Webinar 4: Publication of Early Childhood Data and Its Interface with State Early Childhood Advisory Councils

The Head Start Reauthorization Act of 2007 called for states to create Early Childhood Advisory Councils (ECACs). This webinar focused how ECACs interface with the collection and publication of early childhood data. Rachel Demma from the National Governors Association discussed state activities around data and how these efforts align with State ECACs, Elliot Regenstein of EducationCounsel LLC talked about Illinois’s work with their State ECAC, and Debra Andersen of Smart Start Oklahoma discussed her state’s progress in incorporating health data into its data efforts.

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Early Childhood Webinar 3: Legalities of Data Sharing and the Issue of Commonality
Early Childhood Webinar 3: Legalities of Data Sharing and the Issue of Commonality
March 2011
Early Childhood Webinar 3: Legalities of Data Sharing and the Issue of Commonality

This webinar addressed what states need to know in order to implement legal solutions for sharing data across early childhood programs, and how states can implement a coordinated data system when commonality has not yet been sufficiently addressed. Speakers include a representative of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative, who addressed "The State of States' Early Childhood Education Data Systems Efforts," and representatives from Pennsylvania, who shared their state's data sharing efforts through Pennsylvania's Enterprise to Link Information for Children Across Networks (PELICAN).

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Early Childhood Webinar 2: Creative Solutions to Defining and Capturing the 'P' in 'P-20'
Early Childhood Webinar 2: Creative Solutions to Defining and Capturing the "P" in "P-20"
March 2011
Early Childhood Webinar 2: Creative Solutions to Defining and Capturing the 'P' in 'P-20'

This webinar focused on how states can collect preschool ("P") data when a state does not have a "P" or when a state’s "P" falls within many programs. Representatives from the Early Childhood Data Collaborative, the National Institute for Early Education Research, and Hawaii's Good Beginnings Alliance presented information to help guide states as they develop preschool data systems, which can then be integrated with K12, postsecondary, and workforce data.

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Early Childhood Webinar 1: Prioritizing Early Childhood Data
Early Childhood Webinar 1: Prioritizing Early Childhood Data
January 2011
Early Childhood Webinar 1: Prioritizing Early Childhood Data

Early childhood data are a key component in developing robust P-20W data systems. This webinar focused on how states can design early childhood data systems that a) address key issues, on the local, state, and national levels; b) are improvement-driven as opposed to compliance-driven; and c) can be coordinated with K12 and other key program data. Elizabeth Laird spoke about the work of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC), and Elliot Regenstein of EducationCounsel LLC and the Illinois Early Learning Council reviewed the process of developing early childhood (EC) data systems in three states.

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