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DQC National Data Summit 2012

On Wednesday, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), a collaborative program to advance the use of data to improve educational outcomes that is supported by over 50 organizations nationwide, hosted the National Data Summit. The event, which included panelists such as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and former DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, focused attention on the importance of achieving data-driven decision-making throughout education to improve learning outcomes as well as college readiness and completion. It also highlighted the progress of efforts such as the development of statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs) that integrate PK-12 (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade), postsecondary education, and workforce development program data in accomplishing those goals.

Session video and presentations are not yet posted online, but the event drew heavily from the DQC Data for Action 2011 report. While much of the report focuses on PK-12 issues, points of interest to EDUCAUSE members include the following:

  • The large majority of states do not regularly and effectively match postsecondary and workforce data to “understand the relationship between education and jobs” (which the report implies should become a major priority of the states).
  • Cross-sector governance bodies for educational data have been established by a great majority of states, but those governance bodies have yet to resolve key issues surrounding the sharing and matching of data records (which is likely to become a significant pressure point, with attendant impacts on higher education system and institutional data management and reporting responsibilities).
  • The ability to track students, and specifically postsecondary students, across state lines to inform assessment of educational policy and sector performance is becoming a key emerging issue for the data-driven accountability movement.
  • Another pressure point likely to emerge concerns including links to administrative and financial data systems in the next stage of SLDS development to support determinations of return on investment for educational sectors and policies.