Improving CTE Data Quality: Processes and Protocols are in Place to Ensure Effective Data Governance

An effective career readiness data ecosystem has a clear governance structure in place that designates roles and responsibilities for collecting, validating and reporting career readiness data as well as for setting a strategic vision for the publication and use of data. The absence of a clear and effective data governance structure can lead to entities collecting data in silos, a lack of coordination in data collection and analysis, inconsistent quality of data analysis, and an overall mistrust in the data being collected and reported. 

One state that has established a strong and sustainable data governance structure is Maryland. Maryland created a statewide longitudinal data system in 2012, which is operated by an independent state agency and overseen by a cross-agency governing board. This governing structure has provided Maryland with trusted, reliable and consistent data, allowing for the effective analysis and reporting of education and workforce data. The Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MLDS) is operated by the MLDS Center, an independent state agency that is overseen by a 13-member governing board. The governing board meets quarterly and is responsible for overseeing the operation of the MLDS Center.

Today, the MLDS Center is essential to policymaking and evaluation across the state. The MLDS Center’s longevity has helped it to establish importance and value, thus withstanding personnel and political changes. Researchers, elected officials and state leaders regularly consult the MLDS Center to provide data analysis on a variety of issues, including the impact of poverty on learner outcomes, teacher pipelines and various federal reporting requirements. The MLDS Center also advises the Legislature on the impact of legislation and supports the development of state reports, as required by law.

Read the Advance CTE Case Study Effective Data Governance: Maryland’s Longitudinal Data System Center  to learn more about how Maryland structured its data governance system. For additional resources on improving the quality and use of career readiness data, check out the Career Readiness Data Quality microsite.  

This is the second edition in a series of Advance CTE data quality blogs to accompany Advance CTE’s latest releases, Career Readiness Data Quality and Use Policy Benchmark Tool and Data Quality Case Studies. For more resources on data and accountability in CTE, please visit the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brian Robinson

Policy Associate

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