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IES Grant

Title: Advance CNMI: Leveraging Data Power for Greater Success
Center: NCES Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Villagomez, Lynette Awardee: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System
Program: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program      [Program Details]
Award Amount: $2,561,497
Type: Longitudinal Data System Award Number: R372A200043

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System (CNMI PSS) is a United States Territory in the Western Pacific. It is both a single state and local education entity, supporting the 3-inhabited islands of the Marianas Chain, Saipan, Tinian and Rota. Its 20-schools and 11-Early Head Start and Head Start sites serve 10,033 students. Similar to organizations who were early adopters of the "data driven decision-making" movement, the CNMI PSS realize the limitations of using cross-sectional data analyses for critical decisions and recognize the importance of linking data, driving its effort to build a robust state-wide longitudinal data system (SLDS) that would be greatly aided by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) SLDS Grant. The CNMI is 10-years behind the longitudinal data movement, impeding its ability to effectively service its students. Thus, the impetus for this IES Grant application is on infrastructure development and shifting the use of data from compliance to accountability and strategic instructional usage. The long-term vision will be to harness and analyze longitudinal data from early learning, pre-school, K–12, post-secondary, and the workforce levels (P20W). To work toward this vision, the CNMI PSS will first establish a SLDS infrastructure by linking the CNMI PSS K–12 LDS with the CNMI Head Start and Early Head Start LDS to establish an effective SLDS.

The proposed project, Advance CNMI: Leveraging Data Power for Greater Success, will roll out in phases to set the foundation for a sophisticated information system that drives data usage to support decision-making at multiple levels, from classroom instruction to policy. Specifically, the immediate goals that will drive the project outlined in this grant application are to establish a SLDS infrastructure for the CNMI and to move the use of data beyond the isolated reporting for compliance to an integrated system driven by accountability and is focused on strategic instructional usage to support student learning. In 2017, the CNMI PSS partnered with the Regional Education Lab (REL) Pacific to understand the gaps that exist with its youngest learners, discovering that no more than 26 percent of CNMI students achieved proficiency in reading in any grade level (CNMI Office of Accountability, Research, & Evaluation, 2017). The SLDS will help relevant stakeholders to include assessments and other pertinent information from Head Start, Early Head Start and K-3 students to provide teachers with information on children's development across the early learning. This would provide teachers with longitudinal data sets to better address achievement disparities. The SLDS data sets can be triangulated to create an early warning system which educators can use to inform instruction and intervention.

The framework proposed in this grant application is to address the two primary goals: to Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) infrastructure by connecting K–12 LDS with Head Start and Early Head Start SLDS and to shift the use of data from compliance to accountability and strategic instructional usage. Achieving these two goals will take 4-years. The anticipated cost for the project is $2,561,497.00.

The vision remains on the central notion to provide quality education, empowering all individuals to be innovative thinkers and learners which lends to the overarching mission of "Educating lifelong learners to become productive citizens of a global society".