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Relevant Information to Strengthen Education (RISE) Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

  1. What is RISE?

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) received federal funding to build a Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS), and is now nearing the end of the development process. The overall goal of this initiative is to enable the secure and efficient sharing of educational data, from preschool to K12 to higher education/career and technical education to workforce, for the purposes of educational research and policy-making. CDE’s overall initiative, called RISE (Relevant Information to Support Education), includes many programmatic strategic goals that depend on the ability to link data across agencies and/or programs.

  1. How does this work?

First, appropriate data is collected about students and educators. For students, this might be educational history including early educational background, learning strengths and areas needing more attention, test scores, grades, achievements, etc. For educators, this includes educator experience, preparation and development information.

Next, CDE works with other state agencies to link data. One example of how this works is that the system can illustrate if a child benefits more when provided early childhood education as compared to peers who don’t.

Then, CDE provides timely, student-focused information to parents, students, educators, policymakers and researchers through SchoolView. Data is used to drive increased student performance through personalized instructional practices, innovative learning programs and dynamic professional development.

  1. How will this information be used?

There are a few ways this data can be used. First, a student’s information will follow her as she progresses through the school system. If she moves to a new district, her transcript will become immediately accessible, so her teachers can prepare and help her transition smoothly. Currently, it can take weeks for this information to catch up to a student who moves schools. Second, this data will help conduct research on best practices and innovate on tools and applications to support teaching and learning. It will be easier to identify what is working well and where resources should be focused to support students. Having information that researchers can use to identify areas of success will help improve professional educational practices and public policy. The bottom line is that this information will be used to make better and more informed decisions about students and improve educational services and support.

  1. How much does this initiative cost and who pays for it?

This initiative is being supported with state, federal and philanthropic funding. A major source of funding is from a $17.4 million federal grant, awarded to Colorado in July 2012 through the Federal State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant Program.  Link to state or federal websites

  1. There is so much change taking place in the Colorado education system. Why is RISE important?

This initiative is part of a broader effort to dramatically improve public education and move to a next-generation learning model in Colorado that began with CAP4K (S.B. 212), Education Accountability Act (S.B. 163), and Educator Effectiveness (S.B. 191). The ability to carry out these reforms in a manner that truly benefits students and educators depends on effective education information management. 

RISE is a program that provides a critical foundation for collecting, connecting, tracking, and analyzing data that will give us opportunities to improve public policy and ultimately improve education in Colorado.

6. How does Schoolview tie into this program? Isn’t it also designed to provide student and educator data to important audiences?

SchoolView is a critical part of RISE. SchoolView provides access to award-winning data analytics and visualizations to support a common understanding of the academic growth rates and levels of academic attainment among Colorado’s students, schools, districts and the state as a whole. SchoolView also provides a portal to all performance information that CDE reports to the public. Through SchoolView, CDE provides access to digital content that makes teachers' classrooms and academic content more engaging and successful with students and parents.