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Connect is about linking student and educator data with CDE with records from relevant state agencies (Department of Higher Education, Department of Labor, etc.) using a state-of-the art data system.  This can inform public policy and very meaningful ways.  For example, this kind of "linking" can provide data to evaluate the effectiveness of early childhood education programs in promoting long term student achievement. 

The Link (Connect) strategic objective is accomplished through two main projects:

P-20 (Preschool to Workforce) Data Link

The P-20 (preschool to workforce) Data Link project will link information from the Colorado Department of Education to information at five other state agencies, including the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC), Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) and the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).

The ultimate outcome of this project is to provide key decision-makers with more complete information about programs, trends and practices in Colorado schools aimed at ensuring students graduating from high school are prepared for postsecondary education as well as workforce success. 

The concept of connect as it has been defined for the SLDS / RISE  project, is all about forming a complete picture of students.  It is very much like what a patient's primary care physician wants to see.  If a patient has a health complaint, he/she will go to her doctor.  The doctor looks at the patient, check records already available to the Dr. within his office, and forms an initial supposition of what might be wrong.  The Dr. may use information from other similar cases or request additional tests to help build his diagnosis. That broader and more complete "universe" of  information, including other patient case history, allows the doctor to pinpoint the cause of the health issue, and develop remedies and potential cures.

Unlike the health care analogy, though, CDE is not collecting additional data for the purposes of forming this "student view", but is linking data that was already approved and submitted by districts that is relevant to the question at hand.  Without this additional set of data points, the doctor would have to diagnose and treat the patient based on his initial supposition which was formed with a limited amount of diagnostic data.  None of us would want our doctors to be excluded from seeing critical and relevant information while being treated.

This illustrates the concept behind connecting relevant data together to help form a more complete and accurate representation of students.  Similar to the patient above, we want our educators and our educational system to have this more complete view of students from which to make educational decisions.   

Teacher-Student Data Link (TSDL)

TSDL will connect student achievement data to teacher and other educators, supporting continuous improvement of teacher preparation program and professional practice.