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January 18, 2007

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Florida a Perfect "10"
Data Quality Campaign recognizes Florida for comprehensive high-quality data system

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced that Florida is the first state in the nation to be recognized by the Data Quality Campaign for having the 10 elements necessary to build a longitudinal data system. The Data Quality Campaign is a national, collaborative effort that urges state policymakers to improve the collection, availability, and use of high-quality education data to improve student achievement.

"We are honored to be the first in the nation to be recognized by this prestigious group. Data-driven decision-making is the core of education reform," said Commissioner Winn. "Education polices must be shaped according to the needs of students. I am indebted to the Florida Legislature for having the foresight and confidence in the Department of Education to fund our K-20 Data Warehouse."

A longitudinal data system follows each student from the time they begin school until postsecondary education and the workforce. The data includes the student's performance on annual tests, grades in subjects, reading level and others. Rather than focusing on one segment of a student's education such as elementary school, states are called to follow students from the beginning, until the end of their education.

"For the past four years the Data Quality Campaign has provided a measure, based on ten critical criteria, of how well states are progressing toward education data systems that are continuous over time and which link K-12 data to that of community colleges, universities and the workforce" said Accountability, Research, and Measurement Assistant Deputy Commissioner Jay Pfeiffer. "Until the beginning of 2007, no state met all ten criteria. Now Florida has met the criteria and is identified as the sole state in the nation that meets all ten criteria for a high-quality longitudinal data system."

The 10 essential elements identified by the Data Quality Campaign as critical to the development of a longitudinal data system:

  1. A unique statewide student identifier. As students move from grade to grade and from district to district, this ID number will allow states to accurately measure the progress of every student over time, from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
  2. Student-level enrollment, demographic and program participation information. This information identifies which programs are helping students succeed. It also will help account for students who transfer from school to school.
  3. The ability to match individual students' test records from year to year to measure academic growth. Being able to match test records for each student from the previous year to the current year provides valuable information to teachers and principals so they can monitor a student's academic growth.
  4. Information on untested students. With this information, states can ensure that students from all groups are participating in state tests and account for students who were exempted.
  5. A teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students. Many states collect data on teacher education and certification, but matching teachers to students by classroom and subject is critical to understanding the connection between teacher training and qualifications and student academic growth. stem
  6. Student-level college readiness test scores. Student performance on college readiness exams, such as the SAT, is a good indicator of whether students are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education and work.
  7. Student-level graduation and dropout data. A majority of states currently collect annual records on individual graduates and dropouts. But the National Governors Association (NGA) compact signed by all states aims to create a more valid, reliable and consistent graduation rate that tracks students from grade nine to grade 12.
  8. The ability to match student records between the Pre-K-12 and postsecondary systems. Connecting student performance in college to what happens in high school will give high schools the information they need to align curriculum and instruction to ensure that graduates are better prepared for college and work.
  9. A state data audit system assessing data quality, validity and reliability. The decisions made in education are only as good as the information on which they are based.
  10. Student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and grades earned. States will be able to follow the course-taking patterns for students and analyze their relationship to success on state assessments and readiness for college and work.

The campaign is managed by the National Center for Educational Accountability and supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. To view the Data Quality Campaign survey on state longitudinal data systems