Skip Navigation
A Publication of the National Center for Education Statistics at IES

How do states and territories use data for reporting and decisionmaking?

Data Used for Instructional Support, Resources for Stakeholders, and Decisionmaking

The survey asked respondents to report how they use K–12 student, postsecondary, workforce, Perkins CTE, and early childhood data. Figure 9 shows how states and territories reported using data to support instruction, create resources for stakeholders, and make decisions. The most common use for almost all sectors of data was in resources like scorecards or dashboards for the public, parents, and community members. Sixty-five percent of states and territories reported that the use of K–12 data in these resources was operational, 47 percent of states and territories reported that the use of postsecondary data in these resources was operational, and 25 percent reported that the use of early childhood data in these resources was operational. Data across all sectors are less commonly used for curriculum decisions or materials, with more than half of states and territories responding that they are not planning this use of data.


Figure 9. Percentage of states and territories with sector data used for instructional support, resources, and decisionmaking, by operational status: 2018

Figure 9. Percentage of states and territories with sector data used for instructional support, resources, and decisionmaking, by operational status: 2018

NOTE: N = 51. Detail may not sum to total due to rounding. CTE refers to career and technical education.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Survey, Fall 2018.


Data Used for Additional Federal and State Reports

In addition to the uses discussed above, states and territories indicated that they use data for additional types of federal and state reports not specific to a sector (figure 10). Forty-three percent of states and territories reported operational use of data for data quality reports, which describe issues like error rates and the timeliness of data submissions and certifications. Thirty-seven percent of states and territories reported operational use of data for reports to the governor or legislature.

About one-third of states and territories reported operational uses of SLDS data for reports on research, policy agendas, or strategic plans (35 percent); agency or board reports on goals, initiatives, and policy attainment (31 percent); and reports about student nonparticipation in statewide assessments for reasons such as medical emergency, absence, or opting out of testing (31 percent). The use of SLDS data for reports on usage statistics by user role, like teachers, administrators, SEAs, the public, or other users, was somewhat less common, with less than a quarter of states and territories reporting this data use as operational (24 percent).


Figure 10. Percentage of states and territories using SLDS data for additional federal and state reports: 2018

Figure 10. Percentage of states and territories using SLDS data for additional federal and state reports: 2018

NOTE: N = 51. Detail may not sum to total due to rounding. CTE refers to career and technical education.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Survey, Fall 2018.