Federal grant to fund system to track student data

Washington state was awarded $17.3 million for the design and implementation of a statewide education data system.

The money is being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Known as a statewide longitudinal data systems grant, the money will support the development of an integrated data system from early childhood education to adult employment.

“We know that transitions in school — from preschool to kindergarten, and from high school to college — present challenges to students,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “Having a data system to look at the progress of a student from pre-kindergarten through college is something that will help us better understand their needs.”

While a number of data systems currently exist, the three-year grant will combine the K-12 data system, managed by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, with pre-kindergarten data, post-secondary data and workforce data to create a comprehensive, unified and efficient P-20 data system.

“Early learning, K-12 and higher education have needed a system like this for many years now,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent. “It will bring us the data we need to better assist all students through the entire educational system.”

The grant will build on work already started by SPI and the Education Research and Data Center (ERDC) to link data across education sectors, and to learn more about the factors that determine student success.

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