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IES Grant

Title: Maine State Longitudinal Data System
Center: NCES Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Ellis, Charlotte Awardee: Maine Department of Education
Program: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program      [Program Details]
Award Amount: $3,500,000
Type: Longitudinal Data System Award Number: R372A200013

The Maine State Longitudinal Data System is a data infrastructure project that will establish and modernize multiple data exchanges across several state and quasi-independent agencies. The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) will direct all aspects of the project including overall vision, oversight of the build and operational decisions. There are two main goals of this project; to increase the data shared with the data systems for other interested stakeholders across state government and use the data to create a dynamic reporting interface.

MDOE's original K-12 SLDS was plagued by multiple issues. After the vendor discontinued the product, attempts to bring the product in house were compromised by lack of documentation and lack of standard coding practices. It was also discovered that much of the data was inaccurately portrayed, utilizing another state's reporting criteria, not Maine's. The SLDS was decommissioned in 2017. The lack of a working SLDS has resulted in a loss of data sharing abilities with previous data partners and stakeholders. MDOE needs to rebuild its infrastructure to inform decision-making, to assist with policy and program evaluation, and to provide stakeholders with necessary information.

This project will address the need to modernize and expand the current data collections by using API technologies to move and validate data effectively and efficiently. Business rules will be coded into the data exchange protocols to ensure that data is clean at the time of transfer. The department will establish data connections with other governmental agencies such as the Department of Corrections, the Department of Health & Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Professional & Financial Regulation. MDOE will establish data exchanges with the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System.

MDOE will work in tandem with other entities currently using federal grant monies such as the Perkins V, PDG-5 and WDQI grants to streamline goals, increase productivity, and maximize longitudinal data effectiveness.

This project will move education data into P20W+ CEDS datastore to create a comprehensive reporting portal for the purposes of enhancing policy decisions, managing current programs, supporting research needs, prioritizing departmental initiatives, and tracking student outcomes. As a core team member of the Generate Governance Group (G3), MDOE is very interested in collaboration with other states in not only enhancing Generate's federal reporting capabilities, but also in building out the CEDS datastore as a reporting portal.

The new SLDS reporting portal will provide an operational dashboard for managing and monitoring data warehouse activities such as user activity, report access and performance. The reporting interface will have a public facing reporting dashboard, that interacts with the various analytical tools, data connectivity tools, and visualization tools. This dashboard will be used by novice and power users to interact with the CEDS data structure and will build public reports required to meet the needs of the programs of the MDOE as required by state or federal statue or law.

MDOE is very interested in participating in the school-level poverty measure project by geocoding student addresses in pilot districts and helping the IES to test new poverty measure metrics.