Putting Student Data in Context

Title: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Survey Analysis

Authors: Julia Bloom-Weltman and Kristen King

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

A recent brief from the National Center for Education Statistics provides an overview on current statewide K-12 data collection capacity and availability.

Created in 2005 by the Institute of Education Sciences, the State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) program provides grant funding to nearly every state in the country, as well as several territories, for the purposes of developing or further enhancing existing K-12 data collection capacity. Of the 46 respondents, 96 percent collect K-12 student-level data that typically includes demographic information, grade level, enrollment status, assessment and exam performance scores, and college readiness indicators, among other metrics.

More relevant for postsecondary data stakeholders, 70 percent of respondents said that their state maintained an automated process linking K-12 student level data to postsecondary data. This process provides contextual information about students though uniquely assigned identifiers, course assignments, and element matching processes.

The majority of respondents also listed their states as using the K-12 data to generate feedback for high schools and examine postsecondary outcomes such as enrollment periods, academic progress, major/field completion, and degree attainment rate. Finally, respondents described using data to prepare reports for state legislatures, inform state strategic planning, and set state agency goals and priorities.

The brief expands on available student information from each data collection and source, the methods employed to link data elements from other sources, and reporting on planned data collection expansions by the respondents.

To learn more about the specific data elements or to read the full brief, please visit the NCES website.

—Charles Sanchez

Higher Education Today