The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has been focused since 2005 on advocating for states to build robust state longitudinal data systems (SLDS). While states have made great progress in their data infrastructure, and should continue to emphasize this work, t data systems alone will not improve outcomes. It is time for both DQC and states to focus on building capacity to use the information that these systems are producing at every level – from classrooms to state houses. To impact system performance and student achievement, the ingrained culture must be replaced with one that focuses on data use for continuous improvement. The effective use of data to inform decisions, provide transparency, improve the measurement of outcomes, and fuel continuous improvement will not come to fruition unless there is a system wide focus on building capacity around the collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of this data, including through research.

Key Take Away Points

  1. Measuring and understanding success in education is critical to all stakeholders
  2. High-quality data is needed to measure and understand success
  3. States are now positioned to support the high-quality use of data
  4. Texas has a long history of successful and innovative data use
  5. Despite successes, next generation challenges exist
  6. States and the research community can collaborate to leverage state data systems to turn data into information to meet users’ needs

Author Biography

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. Launched in 2005 by 10 founding partners, DQC now leads a partnership of nearly 100 organizations committed to realizing the vision of an education system in which all stakeholders—from parents to policymakers—are empowered with high-quality data from the early childhood, K–12, postsecondary, and workforce systems to make decisions that ensure every student graduates high school prepared for success in college and the workplace. To achieve this vision, DQC supports state policymakers and other key leaders to promote the development and effective use of statewide longitudinal data systems.