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News Release - Data Quality Campaign Marks Progress In Colorado

Feb. 16, 2011

News Release

Data Quality Campaign Marks Progress In Colorado

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) today released an analysis showing Colorado is one major step closer to providing schools and districts with a “robust longitudinal data system” and is now missing just two of 10 components to be considered among top national leaders.

The two missing components are a statewide teacher identifier with a teacher-student match and student-level course completion (transcript) data.

“We are making strides and we appreciate the recognition of that progress,” said Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond. “The collaboration with other state agencies is on the right track for the best reason, improving student achievement. We are making steady progress and the work is in place so that we will soon have a perfect score.”

The DQC spells out “10 Essential Elements” that must be met in order to be considered a state that provides a robust longitudinal data system. While Colorado is missing two of the 10 elements, one of the elements—a statewide teacher identifier with a teacher-student match—is being developed and will be piloted during the 2011-2012 school year and fully implemented in 2012-2013.

This year, Colorado was recognized for having the ability to match student-level P-12 (preschool through 12th-grade) data with higher education data.

Associate Commissioner Richard Wenning noted that the two missing components from the “essential elements” are both the focus of the $17.4 million Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grant, announced last May. Those two elements are closely linked and Colorado will soon receive credit for both, Wenning predicted.

Colorado was one of 20 states named as a recipient of the federal grant last spring. The work is being organized in four segments—Capture, Link, Provide, Perform. The grant is funding work to move from program-focused data to student/educator-focused data, to shift from manual data submissions to Web-automated services and to do away with collection “silos” in favor of a single collection for multiple uses. The grant is also funding work on “educator of record” definitions, statewide standard course codes and the teacher-student data link.

On a related scale, Colorado has also met six of 10 “state actions” and is closer to meeting the DQC standards for changing how data are used to inform decisions and policies to improve student performance.

Under DCQ’s “state actions” category, Colorado was given credit in the recent survey for three new actions:

  • Creating progress reports using individual student data to improve student performance.
  • Developing a P-20 (preschool through postgraduate) workforce research agenda.
  • Promoting strategies to raise awareness of available data.

Yet to be accomplished in Colorado are linking data systems, creating stable and sustained support for those systems, creating reports using longitudinal statistics to guide system-wide improvement efforts and promoting educator professional development and credentialing.

“The data systems grant, our nationally recognized Colorado Growth Model and the ongoing work across state agencies spelled out in the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids are driving our improvements,” said Commissioner Hammond. “We are committed to this direction because it provides a fair, seamless approach to analyzing student performance and determining what pace of progress each student needs in order to be successful. The work will continue and we are determined to join other states at the top of the rankings.”

The Colorado Growth Model, along with tutorials and support information, is available through www.schoolview.org.

SchoolView and the Colorado Growth Model previously have been noted by DQC as national highlights:

“Colorado has placed student academic growth at the center of its state system of accountability and support, and creating various ways for growth data to be reported to the public and made accessible to educators with need for access has driven much of the work. Colorado feels that this direct engagement with data by its stakeholders will help to drive its public education system to achieve its long-term goals,” stated a previous report.

The complete DQC rubric for “10 Essential Elements” and “10 State Actions” is posted at www.dataqualitycampaign.org along with all survey results.

DQC is a national, collaborative effort to encourage and support state policymakers to enhance the collection, availability and use of high-quality education data and to implement state longitudinal data systems to improve student achievement. The campaign provides tools and resources that assist state development of quality longitudinal data systems while providing a national forum for reducing duplication of effort and promoting greater coordination and consensus among the organizations focusing on improving data quality, access and use.

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