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IES Grant

Title: Massachusetts Partnership for Equity Through Evidence-Based Policy
Center: NCES Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Curtin, Robert Awardee: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Program: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program      [Program Details]
Award Amount: $3,478,369
Type: Longitudinal Data System Award Number: R372A200016
Description:

Over the last 10 years, largely through previous Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) grants, Massachusetts has built on and refined its data systems to establish a comprehensive, interconnected and sophisticated statewide longitudinal data system. Through ongoing collaborative efforts between multiple state agencies and secretariats, we are now able to collect data ranging from pre-kindergarten through college and workforce, as well as provide a host of relevant reports and training opportunities to stakeholders. As our Commonwealth has made significant strides in improving data systems, these efforts have revealed a glaring deficiency: large gaps in access and outcomes continue to persist for significant numbers of students. These data demonstrate that merely increasing access to data and information is not enough to effectively change outcomes for students.

While educators have known these disparities for decades, our SLDS has brought the reality of educational inequity to the forefront for all stakeholders. At this moment, in part because we have access to this information, we have an unprecedented level of shared understanding between state agencies, secretariats, districts, non-profits, parent and community organizations and others, that our current system isn't working and we need to dramatically alter the way we do business. The time is right for the state to make a shift in how we — as a statewide education community — truly leverage the power of our data systems for impact and student equity. With this grant, we are seeking to move from a solid foundation of data access to a strong focus on data action. To accomplish this, we will create clearer alignment around equity-informed research priorities, increase access to relevant data and research, and support educators and other practitioners to change their practices to effectively promote equity. To support these shifts, we have outlined three interconnected strands this grant would support:

  1. Preschool to Career (P20W) Data Governance Structure (DGS): Create a Data Governance Structure that develops and guides a shared vision for inter-agency data use, identifies a set of equity-driven policy questions to guide research efforts across the state, and establishes a stronger culture of evidence-based decision-making at every level, including agency and board leadership.
  2. Statewide Research Hub (Hub): Build out a data platform, linked to our current statewide data warehouse, that provides a central location for agency staff, researchers, and the general public to access P20W data and reports, and that can automate data and research request processes. The Hub will also provide cross-agency staff capacity for data collection, analysis, and reporting. These efforts will make data more accessible and transparent to external stakeholders and will allow us to tap into a broader research community.
  3. Actionable Evidence-Based Practices: Build focused capacity to make evidence-based practices actionable by sourcing concrete examples of high-impact research-based practices in schools, districts, colleges, and other education programs and providers across the Commonwealth, creating a robust strategy for communicating findings, and by producing case studies and action-oriented resources for stakeholders.

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