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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

State Education Data Systems Improve, Still Lack Connections to Workforce

States have made incredible progress over the last year in developing comprehensive longitudinal data systems, but they are still lacking when it comes to stakeholder empowerment and connections to workforce programs and employment outcomes.

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC), a nonprofit organization that supports the availability and use of high-quality education data, released this year’s state analysis report which reviews states’ progress in implementing DQC’s 10 essential elements of education data systems. According to the report, “without exception, every state in the country has robust longitudinal data that extend beyond test scores and could inform today’s toughest education decisions.”

Still, as DQC executive director Aimee Guidera noted on a webinar last week, most states have not yet empowered stakeholders with these data to make informed decisions.

The survey also revealed that little progress has been made around career readiness data. Only nine states have data that connects K-12 student learning with employment or other workforce education and training programs, and just twelve states have connected postsecondary students with employment outcomes.  The next Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants will give more states the opportunity to focus on building these linkages to workforce data.

Since the DQC’s primary focus is on K-12 data issues, leaders from the National Skills Coalition and other national organizations  are developing an initiative, the Workforce Data Quality Campaign, to support states’ efforts to link K-12 and postsecondary data to workforce data. NASDCTEc will provide more information on this campaign as it becomes available.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

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