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2008 Summer Data Conference Longitudinal Data Systems Strand and Other Presentations

LDS Presentations
Other Presentations


The Longitudinal Data Systems (LDS) strand at the 2008 NCES Summer Data Conference (STATS-DC 2008) in Washington, DC, included presentations and roundtable discussions from a number of SLDS Grant Program recipient states. Presentations included:  data exchange, methods of improving student achievement, data usage, data modeling, and developing P-12 and P-20 data systems.

Roundtable discussions included four major areas:  1) data linkages; 2) tools, rules, and processes, 3) data system sustainability, and 4) overall data systems.  The discussions were very informative, and included many tips and lessons learned.

Roundtable Discussion 1: Linking Student Data

  1. Some states successfully collect licensed personnel data with a link to a classroom code.
  2. Although teacher and student links are widely available at the LEA level, some SEAs cannot collect them without a mandate.
  3. To link P-12 with postsecondary data, set up a PK-20 Council.
  4. To capture out-of-state students without common course codes, a possible solution would be to attach a state code to the front of every student ID.
  5. To link to other agencies’ data, assign a student ID at birth and maintain the Medicaid ID at the SEA.
  6. Work with contractors to assign a common ID to different agencies.

Roundtable Discussion 2: Having Good Tools, Rules and Processes

  1. Be wary of assessments and other systems with different student IDs, which can lead to duplicate demographic information.
  2. As data can be very complex, it is better to store them in more complex data management software than simply spreadsheets.

Roundtable Discussion 3: Tips for Maintaining Sustainability

  1. Obtain stability of staff and support from leaders.
  2. Include in vendor contracts ad hoc troubleshooting support.
  3. Ensure that the IT Department is committed from the start.
  4. Document in detail the building of the technical aspects of the data system.
  5. Report data to providers (program offices, districts, and schools) early and often.
  6. Have a communication strategy, including between federal and state levels.
  7. Maintain frequent (e.g., weekly, monthly) contact with vendors and stakeholders.
  8. Respond to feedback from and build trust with districts.
  9. Create a core set of reports about the program areas to attract program staff.
  10. Include a workshop for user training in the RFP.
  11. Use efficient and effective technologies (e.g. podcasting, webcasting, toolkits) to relay information and hold trainings.

Roundtable Discussion 4: Tips for a Successful Data System

  1. Ensure data quality as far upstream as possible. Check data as they are coming in and have districts validate their data.
  2. If there are duplicate records of the same students enrolled in two schools, it is better to have the schools resolve the issue.
  3. With limited trainers, a good strategy is to hold online training.
  4. To maintain data security, “roles” must be deleted if someone leaves. A partial solution is to force Single Sign-On passwords to be changed periodically.
  5. Don’t limit the data dictionary to technical definitions (e.g, include business definitions)
  6. Use data dictionaries to help standardize student IDs, as well as district and school names.


LDS Presentations

Session I Data Exchanges: Best Practices Across Industries
Bethann Canada, Virginia Department of Education
Paul McGowan, Center for Innovative Technology

Data exchanges may be new to education, but other industries have been exchanging data for years. The Virginia Department of Education asked Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology to study data exchanges in other industries to identify best practices and lessons learned. Participants learned about the project's discoviers and plans to align the project's work with the recommendations in the report.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Data Exchanges: Best Practices Across Industries Zip File (121 KB)

Session II New Grants for Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs; Case Study: Effects of Teacher Policies on Student Achievement
Allen Ruby, National Center for Education Research
Jim Wyckoff, CALDER and University of Virginia

Jim Wyckoff walked presentation participants through a policy evaluation case study in which he used New York City longitudinal administrative records to measure how assessment-based accountability policies and new routes into teaching affected teacher labor market, the distribution of teacher qualifications, and student achievement. The analyses show that policy changes in New York dramatically affected teacher qualifications and resulted in improved student achievement. Perhaps most intriguing, they also show that much larger gains could result if teachers with strong teacher qualifications could be recruited. Allen Ruby of the National Center on Education Research (NCER) then discussed a new competitive grants program to evaluate state and local education policies and programs. This program could supply the funds for your states and districts to do evaluations similar to the one presented by Jim Wyckoff.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
New Grants for Evaluation of State and Local Education
Zip File (459 KB)

Session III Next Generation Data Conversations: From Building to Using Data to Improve Student Achievement
Eric Osberg, Fordham Institute
Nancy Smith, Data Quality Campaign

Presenters from the Fordham Institute and Nancy Smith of the Data Quality Campaign discussed challenges and new ideas in developing education data systems for the 21st century. They summarized national trends, discussed the next steps, and outlined the road into the future.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Next Generation Data Conversations: From Building to Using Data to Improve Student Achievement Zip File (135 KB)

Session IV Data Sharing Across the Educational Pipeline
Nancy Smith, Data Quality Campaign

The focus and energy around data sharing activities between SEAs and postsecondary institutions continue to grow. The DQC is hosting a series of regional meetings on this topic and working with its partners to build awareness and political will to increase data linkages. In this session, the presenter shared what is being learned from key stakeholders across the country, and participants heard from their peers in a few states what their experiences, hurdles, and successful strategies have been.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Data Sharing Across the Educational Pipeline Zip File (135 KB)

Session V You Have Longitudinal Data—Now What?
Nancy Smith, Data Quality Campaign
Terry Bergner, Consultant, Data Quality Campaign

So you collect data—lots and lots of data—enrollment, assessment, college readiness, graduation—now what? The Data Quality Campaign has been interviewing states about data usage and sharing, specifically around college readiness data and its work with outside organizations to analyze the data. In this session, presenters discussed what they found and listened to participants' thoughts and experiences around data use.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
You Have Longitudinal Data—Now What? Zip File (2.23 MB)

Session VI Using the Education Data Model in Longitudinal Data Systems
Vicente Paredes, Schools Interoperability Framework Association
Jason Wrage, Integrity Technology Solutions
Kashka Kubzdela, National Center for Education Statistics

The Data Model Task Force of the National Forum on Education Statistics has created a pk-12 data model for education. The Education Data Model (Version I) represents the information that schools, LEAs, and states would want to collect and manage to meet the education needs of their students and to maintain effective organizations in the service of those needs. A single, comprehensive model of education data is a prerequisite to establishing automated systems with the right, accurate data that are comparable across time and systems. In this session, the Education Data Model and its application were presented, leading to a discussion by session participants on how to use the Education Data Model to develop and improve longitudinal data systems.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Using the Education Data Model in Longitudinal Data
Zip File (390 KB)

Session VII Benefiting from Data
Robin Taylor, Delaware Department of Education

Delaware discussed how it utilizes longitudinal data for research; improving student achievement and instruction; and for data driven decision making. During this session, Delaware also shared detailed examples of the reporting systems the state uses at the school level to support data driven decisions.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
How Delaware Supports its Districts through Data Systems Zip File (2.51 MB)

Session VIII P-12 Data Systems: New Developments and Lessons Learned
Kathy Gosa, Kansas State Department of Education
Baron Rodriguez, Oregon Department of Education
Mike Schwartz, New Hampshire Department of Education

A panel of recipients of the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants discussed their approaches to including formative assessments in their data systems, improving data quality, and providing training to users. The panel shared the lessons learned and plans for the future.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
P-12 Data Systems: New Developments and Lessons
Zip File (963 KB)

Session IX P-20 Longitudinal Data Systems: Getting Started, the Future, and Lessons Learned
Jeff Sellers, Florida Department of Education
Anne Brinson, Indiana Department of Education
Robin Taylor, Delaware Department of Education

Panelists discussed the issues and lessons learned related to developing and maintaining their respective P-20 and P-labor data systems. They shared suggestions for how to get started and what plans they have for the future.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentations:
P-20 Longitudinal Data Systems: Getting Started, the Future, and Lessons Learned Zip File (730 KB)

Other Presentations


Aimee Guidera Forum Closing Presentation
Aimee R. Guidera, Director, DQC

Data Quality Campaign presents ten essencial elements, partners and more for the Developing and Supporting P-20 Education Data Systems.

Download Zipped PowerPoint Presentation:
Developing and Supporting P-20 Education Data Systems: A State of the States Zip File (857 KB)