With this grant, the state will enhance its capabilities to provide consistent, reliable, and accurate quality data about Iowa education. Giving teachers and administrators the tools for deep data analysis offers them a more detailed picture of student achievement and the factors that influence student performance. With this data in hand, Iowa educators are empowered to help all students achieve greater success. The funds will also change the way student data moves across educational entities throughout the state, allowing for robust security and increased efficiency.
The Iowa Department of Education has worked over the past few years to enhance its statewide education data system and these funds will boost further development by:
- Generating a unified infrastructure for education-related data, which would combine information from multiple sources into one common system called EdInsight;
- Establishing interconnectivity between various education entities to allow greater analysis of information and enhance future planning capabilities;
- Allowing automatic transmission of data from school districts to the Iowa Department of Education to improve the accuracy and timeliness of data;
- Enhancing tools needed for deep analysis of long-term education trends, not short-term snapshots of student achievement;
- Investigating linking education data with workforce information to offer deeper analysis of student preparedness;
- Developing a system that provides information on a student's complete academic career from kindergarten through college;
- Developing electronic transcripts for quick transfer of secondary student information to colleges and universities;
- Improving the ability to locate information on students transferring between districts.
The federal Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grant program is designed to help state education agencies develop and implement longitudinal data systems. These systems are intended to enhance the ability of states, districts, schools, and teachers to make data-driven decisions to improve student learning, as well as facilitate research to increase student achievement and close achievement gaps.