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Table 2.  Self-assessment sample questions

What does your
data system look
  • Do you have a data collection system? Is it web-based?
  • How do you collect the data (via paper, electronic transfer, etc.)? How often are they collected and updated? What is the path of data collection (e.g., from schools to districts to state)?
  • How granular are your data (individual- or aggregate-level)?
  • Do you have a unique student identifier system? Can you use it to match records across databases? If not, do you use Social Security numbers? In which databases are these identifiers used as the primary ID?
  • Do you have a unique teacher identifier system?
  • Are student and teacher data linked? If so, how (individual IDs, classroom IDs, etc.)?
  • Are your data linked across years?
  • Are your data integrated with postsecondary, workforce, social services, or other data outside of K–12? If so, how often is a match-rate analysis conducted? How good is your match rate?
  • Are the data linked across state borders?
  • Do you use electronic transcripts to share student information?
  • Are your systems interoperable?
  • Do you have a central data warehouse or do programs use individual silos?
  • What infrastructure and technology support the system (servers, software, etc.)?
  • What parts of the system are run in-house? By a vendor?
  • How are data secured?

What data do
you collect?
  • What data do you collect on students (enrollment, demographics, test scores and information on untested students, program participation, course completion, graduation, etc.)?
  • Are these data matched for students from year to year?
  • How often are students tested in each subject and can testing data show annual growth for students in any subject?
  • What data do you collect on teachers (certification, professional development, Highly Qualified, salary, etc.)?
  • What other data do you collect on the education system (financial, facilities, etc.)? At what levels do you collect these data (e.g., school, district)?
  • When are these data collected and who provides them? (Catalog all current and planned data collections.)

How is data
quality ensured?
  • What types of quality assurance processes and audits are utilized to ensure data quality?
  • Are business rules in place?
  • Do automated data edit processes ensure compliance with the business rules?
  • What governance structure ensures data quality?
  • Are common course codes used? Is there a central, authoritative data dictionary?
  • Does a data model depict the data environment?
  • Is a staff training program in place at the local level to improve data quality?

How are your
data used?
  • How are data transmitted to the state or federal government?
  • What reports are produced with the data?
  • How are these reports made available to users?
  • What ad hoc querying is available?
  • Is access to data role-based? Who is allowed access to what data?
  • How are the data presented to users (spreadsheets, web-based analysis tools, digital dashboard, etc.)?
  • What does staff do with the data (federal and state reporting, program performance monitoring, student tracking, data-driven decisionmaking, etc.)?
  • What types of professional development are provided to help staff access, analyze, and interpret the data?

What other
factors affect
your data?
  • Do any federal or state laws and regulations control the collection and use of individual student data and protect the privacy of student records?
  • Do any federal or state laws prohibit or mandate linkages between P–12 data systems and postsecondary or other outside databases?
  • Do any federal or state laws or regulations require the data system to have certain components?
  • What is the culture of your organization in terms of data use, data sharing, and collaboration?