The purpose of assistance under this program is to enable State educational agencies to design, develop, and implement statewide, longitudinal data systems to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, disaggregate and use individual student data. In addition, the program supports awards to organizations to improve data coordination.
The long-term goal of the program is to enable all States to create comprehensive systems that permit the generation and use of accurate and timely data; support informed decision-making at all levels of the education system, including the classroom and school; increase efficiency with which data may be analyzed to support the continuous improvements of education services and outcomes; facilitate research to improve student achievement and close achievement gaps; support education accountability systems; and simplify the processes used by State education agencies to make educational data transparent through public and Federal reporting.The grants awarded will support the development and implementation of systems that link individual student data across time and across databases, including matching teachers to students; promote interoperability across institutions and States; and protect student privacy consistent with applicable privacy protection laws. Grants under this competition are intended to help States accelerate the development of their longitudinal data systems and to promote the inclusion of data from early childhood and pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education and workforce information in those systems. By creating interoperability with postsecondary data systems or creating consolidated early childhood and pre-kindergarten through baccalaureate data systems in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, States can develop systems that include data to serve multiple purposes, such as to
(1) improve instruction and identify successful instructional programs within the State,
(2) determine priorities for allocating scarce State and local resources,
(3) devise methods for identifying effective teachers and teaching practices,
(4) identify programs and pathways that encourage students to stay in school and enter postsecondary education,
(5) determine whether high school graduates have the knowledge and skills to succeed in postsecondary education, the workforce, and the Armed Forces without the need for remediation,
(6) strengthen the preparation of all students for success after high school,
(7) provide accurate information about schools, school staff, and the progress of students, and
(8) support accountability and public reporting.
In addition, each State applying for State Fiscal Stabilization Funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act must provide an assurance that it will establish a longitudinal data system that includes the elements described in section 6401(e)(2)(D) of the America COMPETES Act. Statewide data systems funds can be used to help implement data systems that meet these requirements.The Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002 requires that funds made available under this grant program be used to supplement, and not supplant, other State or local funds used for developing State data systems.