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STATS-DC 2010 NCES Data Conference

Concurrent Session IX Presentations

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Program and Project Management and Governance—Keys to Successful SLDS Delivery
Greg Holland, Arkansas Department of Education
Dennis Cribben, Metis Associates, Inc.

    In its continuing development of a statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS), the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is carrying out work across multiple distinct but interrelated work streams that must be managed individually and collectively in a strategic manner. This presentation will review the basic elements that have gone into establishing an effective governance structure and PMBOK based program and project management processes through which ADE ensures delivery on its SLDS grant commitments. The presentation will also describe project management methods, tools, and the templates ADE uses for planning, scheduling, and tracking and for risk and issue management, and project communication.  Finally, ADE’s internal SLDS Project Team SharePoint collaboration site will be presented. This site serves as a critical project knowledge base, storing project artifacts, status information, and other project resources; it also provides ADE SLDS PMO team members with a powerful tool for communication and collaboration.

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Workshop:  Who is MOE? Using the American Community Survey for Education Data (Part II)
ElanaBroch, Princeton Unversity, Office of Population Research

    The American Community Survey (ACS) has replaced the long form of the decennial Census. This ongoing survey can be used for state- and district-level data on educational attainment. However, the statistical landscape has changed (fewer people complete this survey than completed the long form) and users need to be aware of these changes. This presentation will address the MOE (Margin of Error) that needs to be incorporated when interpreting ACS data and the issues in comparing data from year to year.
IX–C Lies, Damned Lies, and Distorted Financial Statistics
Vaughn Altemus, Vermont Department of Education
Peggy O'Guin, California Department of Education

    This presentation will be a spirited analysis of the March 2010 Cato Institute report, “They Spend WHAT? The Real Cost of Public Schools.” The presenters will share their recent experiences deconstructing the figures used in this report in order to rebut its apparent presumption that purveyors of education financial figures are out to mislead the public. This irreverent session will consider the valid reasons for differences between measurements, contemplate whether apples are inherently superior to oranges, and reflect on the seemingly direct relationship between complaints about government spending and demands for data that require expensive increases in education administration.

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IX–D Getting It Together:  Researcher Access to Linked Statewide Data in Texas
Daniel O’Brien and James Parsons, University of Texas at Dallas, Education Research Center
    Education researchers have their eyes on Texas as the state continues to expand its FERPA-compliant individual linked data system. This session provides an update of progress in Texas by describing the state’s processes, procedures, challenges, and current status. Topics include the addition of data from multiple sources, access from locations within and outside of Texas, allocation of computing capacity, improvements to the research proposal process, procedures used to insure FERPA-compliant work products, and the roles of state agencies, school districts, universities, foundations, and other stakeholders.
IX–E Delivering Access for ELL® Data for WIDA Research:  Methodology and Artifacts
Rahul Joshi, Kristopher Stewart, and Howard Cook
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research
    The World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium has designed an English language proficiency assessment called ACCESS for ELLs®, administered in more than 20 states. To deliver reliable data for ongoing research, a high-performance, scalable data warehouse architecture was developed for managing ACCESS for ELLs® information. A longitudinal schematic design uniquely tracks students in this system across successive years. This database is also connected to other national research datasets (e.g., NCES’s Common Core). An intelligent reporting framework is currently being developed for analysis by consortium members. This presentation describes the development of this system and highlights lessons learned and future directions.

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How to Use ED Data Express and Data Reports in the EDFacts Reporting System
Susan Thompson, Alex Goniprow, and Jane Clark, U.S. Department of Education
Brandon Lucado, 2020 Company

    ED Data Express, launched this summer by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education (ED), is the largest public access site for EDFacts and Consolidated State Performance Report data. This session will provide an overview of the K–12 education data accessible through this site for use in planning, performance management, and policymaking, among other uses.

    State education agency and ED staff can access over 160 reports through the EDFacts Reporting System. Reports on key policy areas developed by the Performance Information Management Service at ED are available using data from the EDFacts State Data Collection, the Non-Fiscal Common Core of Data, the Consolidated State Performance Report, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Data Collection, the Civil Rights Data Collection, and some data on Office of Indian Education grants.  Data include information on student enrollment, AYP, state assessment performance, HQT, Title I Choice, graduation and dropout rates, and many others. A list of the current reports will be disseminated at this session.

IX–G District-Level Use of Data
Ellen Mandinach, CNA Education
Sharnell Jackson, Data-Driven Innovations Consulting, Inc.
    This presentation will describe how districts are using data and reporting on findings in the literature around data-driven decision making at the local level. The primary use of data at the district level is to improve instruction and meet the needs of all students by addressing their learning strengths and weaknesses. Data are also being used to turn around low-performing schools. Finally, data are being used for accountability. This presentation will also discuss the findings of this study and contextualize it against a recently released national survey.
IX–H Constructing the State Data Fortress:  The Realities of Multi-State Collaboration
Meredith Bickell and Laurel Ballard, Wyoming Department of Education
Robert Piro and Mitchell Johnson, New Mexico Public Education Department
    Starting to build out the LEARN’s State Data Fortress through a collaborative effort—determining where do we start, what elements belong and in what context, adopting standards (National Education Data Model, Common Data Standards, etc.), etc. What did we LEARN? Were there any surprises? What was most valuable? What states joined the effort? What are we going to do next?
IX–I eTranscripts and SREx Adoption in Kansas
Kathy Gosa, Kansas State Department of Education
    With funding from a 2009 IES grant, Kansas partnered with Docufide to implement Electronic Transcripts (eTranscripts) and electronic Student Records Exchange (SREx) to alleviate the burden on schools related to admission and guidance activities, eliminate the security risks associated with manual and paper processes, increase the accuracy and effectiveness of the data, and ensure that students receive the services they need in a timely manner. Without a state mandate for participation, many states have faced challenges in getting K–12 and postsecondary institutions invested in participating in improved data systems. This presentation will focus on how Kansas learned from the experiences of other states, the process and techniques used to promote adoption, and the results so far as Kansas schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions join the Kansas eTranscript and SREx initiative.

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