Designed and implemented a process that reached out to include all potential stakeholders in Iowa between March 2011 and February 2012. Through 12 focus group conducted across the state, over 1,400 electronic survey participants and validation with the SLDS Steering committee, the results present a complete and statistically-sound picture of stakeholder vision for SLDS. Outreach included environmental scans, focus group meetings, and surveys in order to ensure that a diverse group of persons were provided the opportunity for input into the design and development of the statewide longitudinal data system project.
Guiding Principles for Iowa’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS)
The SLDS will:
- Be used to support student growth and learning in all levels of education.
- Comply with all laws and regulations (state, federal, local, organizational) regarding privacy and confidentiality of student, employee and other data.
- Be transparent in its development process, governance, and data reports.
- Be governed by a group that includes representatives of stakeholders and owners of the data.
Ten broad priorities were established by the Core Planning Group based on input from Stakeholders across the state. They include:
- Stakeholder awareness of system so that it can be used optimally to benefit student learning and growth.
- Development and implementation of system should be done in stages.
- System must be dynamic and flexible to support policy changes.
- System has to be accessible to all – including those with limited technology resources.
- Include student tracking beyond K-12.
- Data must be available to inform a broad array of decisions.
- Confidentiality of students and employees must be ensured and privacy of data maintained.
- Reports from system should be transparent.
- Reporting information has to include context, application and meaning of the data.
- Training and professional development are key components of the system so that stakeholders use data effectively and accurately.
Core Planning Group
The Core Planning group was created as an advisory group to the SLDS Visioning and Outreach Initiative and represents key stakeholders from a variety of education settings across the state. The stakeholder engagement process added tremendous value to the work by:
- Providing insight and experience from the field;
- Offering ideas and guidance to DE leaders;
- Providing input into identifying key issues, informing focus group themes, and feedback on survey development;
- Conveying information about the project; and
- Deliberating on findings of the stakeholder engagement to frame the strategic vision and reports.