Posts Tagged ‘SLDS’

Improving CTE Data Quality: Information is Relevant, Timely and Disaggregated

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Career Technical Education (CTE) stakeholders — including families, employers and local practitioners at the secondary and postsecondary levels — need access to relevant and timely data to make informed decisions when it matters. For all the data CTE leaders collect, processing, cleaning and sharing relevant information can take a year or more, making it far less useful for practitioners on the ground. State leaders should ensure that information is relevant, timely and disaggregated so that stakeholders can understand and act on the data. This requires states to provide a comprehensive view of their career readiness system; differentiate reports by user; make data available when it matters; and disaggregate data by population, program and institution.

To improve the relevance and timeliness of CTE data, North Dakota created a statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS) that feeds data into public and internal data dashboards on a daily basis through PowerSchool, a data management system that all public school districts use to collect data on attendance, grades and other metrics. North Dakota’s postsecondary institutions also upload their data to the state’s SLDS, allowing for linkages between the K-12 and postsecondary sectors. These data dashboards provide stakeholders with timely information that they can use to make important education, career and policy decisions. 

The SLDS currently includes data on K-12 student demographics, attendance and enrollment, assessment performance, CTE participation, graduation and dropout rates, historical grades, and college and career readiness. The SLDS also includes postsecondary data on student enrollment, courses, performance, demographics and graduation rates. Workforce data such as wage and employment information are fed into the SLDS by Job Service North Dakota, the state’s workforce development agency. North Dakota’s SLDS also collects data on CTE participation, concentration and completion rates along with credential attainment. Soon, the SLDS will include data on work-based learning completion.

Through a public dashboard tool called Insights, policymakers, agencies, researchers and the general public can access data on preparation and outcomes for education and workforce training programs and use that data to make informed decisions. The reports generated on Insights are user friendly and easily accessible to the general public. Examples of reports and data that users can explore on Insights include the demand for a particular occupation, the average salary of that occupation, the CTE program of study that could lead to a career in that occupation, and which institutions offer that program.

The SLDS also provides data to the North Dakota Education Portal, a set of dashboards available to public school teachers and administrators that provide information on metrics such as predicted learner outcomes, high school and college readiness and historical learner data. The North Dakota Department of Education and its public postsecondary institutions have access to internal data on the North Dakota Education Portal, with levels of access differentiated by user. Additionally, the portal provides learners and families direct services such as access to transcripts and the ability to send transcripts to any postsecondary institution in the state or participating in the National Student Clearinghouse, thereby making applying to those institutions easier. High school students are also able to apply to North Dakota postsecondary institutions for dual credit enrollment and complete some first-year applications online through the student portal.

North Dakota’s SLDS and data dashboards equip stakeholders, including local CTE practitioners, to make data-informed decisions when it matters by providing data in a way that is timely, relevant and actionable.

Read the Advance CTE Case Study North Dakota: Data Dashboards to learn more about how North Dakota’s data dashboards have helped to foster a data- and information-rich culture throughout the state. For additional resources on improving the quality and use of career readiness data, check out the Career Readiness Data Quality microsite

This is the fifth 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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Measuring Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems: Where to Start

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) affords states the chance to strengthen their accountability systems by adopting multiple measures of school success rather than relying on an antiquated test-based system. Buoyed by this flexibility, state agencies across the country are exploring strategies to integrate career readiness indicators into their accountability systems. While some states have made considerable progress in this arena, others are left wondering where do we start?

To help states navigate this new territory, Education Strategy Group and the Council of Chief State School Officers convened a workgroup of accountability experts and tasked them with identifying and recommending robust metrics to measure career readiness. Their recommendations, released earlier this month in a brief titled Destination Known: Valuing College AND Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems, detail four possible measures of student career readiness:

The brief further outlines strategies for measuring and valuing each of these measures, demonstrating how states can implement and gradually increase the sophistication of their measurement indicators. Lessons are also drawn from states such as Ohio, Kentucky and California that have made headway toward adopting and implementing career-focused accountability indicators in recent years.

Moving forward, JPMorgan Chase & Co. aims to support state efforts to adopt these recommendations and enhance their career-focused accountability through New Skills for Youth, a cross-state initiative to dramatically increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for careers.

Expanding Access to Postsecondary Learning

Separately, students who earned dual credit in Oregon schools were more likely than their peers to graduate from high school, enroll in college and persist through their first year. That’s according to new research from the Research Education Lab at Education Northwest examining dual credit participation between 2005 and 2013. While the study reveals a correlation between dual credit attainment and positive outcomes, the authors note equity gaps in participation across student subgroups. Dual credit earners in the study were more often white, female and not on the federal free and reduced lunch program.

Equitable access to higher education is not a new issue, but it can often be exacerbated by performance-based funding formulas. Without careful design, such formulas can encourage two-year and four-year colleges to be more selective with who they admit into their programs. According to the Center for Legal and Social Policy (CLASP), states should adjust their postsecondary formula weights to counteract selectivity and encourage more open access to postsecondary education.

Odds and Ends

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By admin in Research, Resources
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State Education Data Systems Improve, Still Lack Connections to Workforce

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

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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