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Appendix A: Overview of the LDS Guide Series

The Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems series consists of four guides intended to help state and local education agencies meet the many challenges involved in developing a robust longitudinal data system (LDS), populating them with quality data, and using this new information to improve the education system.

Book One of Four: What is an LDS?, focuses on the fundamental questions of what an LDS is (and what it is not), what steps should be taken to achieve a sound and successful system, what components make up an ideal system, and why such a system is of value to education. Book Two of Four: Planning and Developing an LDS, will discuss the critical planning and development phases of an LDS project, from stakeholder engagement and needs assessment all the way through to system evaluation. Book Three of Four: Effectively Managing LDS Data will explore several fundamental challenges of data management, focusing on data governance, data quality, privacy, and security. Finally, Book Four of Four: Advanced LDS Usage, will address the effective utilization of LDS data, discussing the users and uses of the data; and emphasize the need for effective training and professional development. The figure below lays out the major issues covered in each of the four books in this Forum guide series.

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