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A Publication of the National Center for Education Statistics at IES

What types of K–12 data are included in the statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs)?

Not surprisingly given that most SLDSs are initially built in SEAs, 2017 and 2018 survey respondents indicated that K–12 student data play a key role in their SLDS projects. K–12 student data were included in 94 percent of SLDSs (48 of 51 states and territories that responded to the survey) in 2018 (figure 1). That percentage is almost unchanged from 96 percent (44 of 46 states and territories) in the 2017 survey.

States and territories reported the current operational status of 24 types of K–12 student data in their SLDSs (figure 2). Respondents indicated whether each data type was “operational,” “in progress,” “planned,” or “not planned.” Figure 2 and subsequent figures show the percentage of respondents giving each of those four responses, along with the percentage who did not answer. The bars in the figures are centered on 0 for easier comparisons. Responses of “not planned” and “not answered” are shown in purple on the left side of the figure, and “operational,” “in progress,” and “planned” responses are shown in green on the right. “Operational” and “not planned” responses are shown closest to the 0 point at center so that they can be easily compared. Because an “operational” response indicates that a data type or capability is fully functional and available for its intended users, most discussion focuses on those responses.


Figure 1. Number of states and territories with K–12 student data included in the SLDS: 2017 and 2018

Figure 1. Number of states and territories with K–12 student data included in the SLDS: 2017 and 2018

NOTE: N = 51. Detail may not sum to total due to rounding. “Other program participation” includes participation in free and reduced-price lunch, Title I, English language learners, and special education programs. AP refers to Advanced Placement.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Survey, Fall 2018).


The K–12 student data types that were most commonly reported as operational by states and territories are student demographics (88 percent), grade level (88 percent), school enrollment and completion (88 percent), transfer status (86 percent), homelessness status (82 percent), dropout history (82 percent), attendance (80 percent), and statewide summative assessment scores (80 percent). Notably, all of the data types most frequently cited as operational are required for federal reporting. There was no significant change from the 2017 survey to the 2018 survey in the percentage of states and territories reporting each type of K–12 student data as operational. Other operational 6 student-level data types reported by more than three-quarters of states and territories are other program participation (78 percent), in-state dual enrollment (78 percent), diploma/certificate information (78 percent), and course enrollment (76 percent).

The 2018 survey revealed that the K–12 data types least commonly reported as operational are kindergarten entry assessment scores (45 percent), out-of-state dual enrollment (35 percent), statewide benchmark assessment scores (33 percent), local benchmark assessment scores (24 percent), and instructional methods used in the classroom (8 percent). These were also the least commonly operational data types in the 2017 survey. A significant number of states and territories (22 percent to 76 percent) indicated that they do not plan to include these data types in their SLDSs.


Figure 2. Percentage of states and territories with selected K–12 student data types included in the SLDS, by operational status: 2018

Figure 2. Percentage of states and territories with selected K–12 student data types included in the SLDS, by operational status: 2018

NOTE: N = 51. Detail may not sum to total due to rounding. P-20W+ refers to data from prekindergarten (early childhood), K –12, and postsecondary through postgraduate education, along with workforce and other outcomes data (e.g., public assistance and corrections data). The specific agencies and other organizations that participate in the P-20W+ initiative vary from state to state. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Survey, Fall 2018.