State Data Systems
Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org

State Data Systems

Longitudinal student-unit databases provide the most accurate information for both policy decisions and decisions at the district and school levels. They can provide information about student growth over time that can then be linked with the teachers, programs and schools that have served those students. They also can provide fairer comparisons of schools than data systems that rely on cohort comparisons, because they ensure school performance is based only on students who have been continuously enrolled in that school. Finally, because they can match student records over time, they offer a way to follow student progress statewide and to verify the accuracy of district information – particularly about student transfers and dropouts. However, less than one-fifth of the states are even close to implementing systems that are robust enough to provide this level of information.

The following elements are important:
  • Unique student identifiers make it possible for value-added assessment systems to determine growth in individual student achievement.
  • The use of social security numbers as unique identifiers has raised significant concerns about student privacy. States that have moved ahead with the use of unique identifiers even though the use of social security numbers is prohibited by law could be tapped for model language to help provide solutions in other states.
  • Unique teacher identifiers allow integration of teacher data into school-level analysis of trends in classroom performance. This level of data can help district and building leaders identify, for example, where professional development is needed and can help evaluate the impact of such training.
  • State policymakers have demonstrated an increasing level of interest in value-added analysis, and a small but growing number of states are explicitly addressing this element in policy.
  • The ability to analyze data across K-12 and higher education allows state policymakers address issues such as reducing the numbers of high school graduates needing remediation. The proposal to create student-unit records as part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) could impact these emerging systems, for it changes the nature of the conversation to one that includes the potential for assignment of identifiers that are unique ACROSS the states rather that within states -- and increasing the debate related to issues of student privacy.
The information in this database will be updated as new state policies are enacted.

Last updated: Spring 2006

Please contact Kathy Christie at 303.299.3613 or kchristie@ecs.org with questions or comments about the database.



Statewide student data system uses unique student identifiers State law prohibits use of social security number Unique teacher identifiers State data system includes explicit value-added analysis component State K-12 data system linked to higher education system (accountability at P-16 level) Source

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

Federal Law

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

American Samoa

Guam

Puerto Rico

Virgin Islands

© 2014 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail ecs@ecs.org.
Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy