|Title:||Arkansas Department of Education Longitudinal Data System Project|
|Principal Investigator:||Boardman, James||Awardee:||Arkansas Department of Education|
|Program:||Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||12/01/2005 through 11/30/2008||Award Amount:||$3,328,503|
|Type:||Longitudinal Data System||Award Number:||R372A060132|
Arkansas currently has a distributed set of operational and transaction databases that support the State's and school districts' fiscal, personnel and program operations and statewide and federal reporting requirements. Each system has its own data model, data dictionary, business rules and quality assurance procedures. The district-level databases for 252 school districts are housed at the Arkansas Department of Information Systems and overseen by the Arkansas Public School Computer Network office. The Financial Management System and Student Management System are based on SunGuard Pentamation software. From an operational perspective, these systems are generally satisfactory and data are adequate to meet reporting requirements, including those associated with No Child Left Behind; however, the value of the stored information is diminished by the considerable effort required to design and conduct cross-system analyses. Just as data cannot be readily exchanged across statewide systems, data cannot be exchanged across the districts. Each school district maintains a separate database. There is no capacity to exchange data with institutions of higher education or other States. There are minor gaps between researchersí data needs and data actually collected, which limit capability to perform certain analyses. There is an inability to link to wage reporting information to track student outcomes once they enter the workforce. The LAN/WAN connectivity with districts currently is not sufficient to support access to the data warehouse and online data analyses by district and school personnel.
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) plans to construct a longitudinal data system to fill gaps in its current systems and more effectively manage, analyze, disaggregate, and use individual student data to support decision making at the state, district, school, classroom and parent levels, in order to eliminate achievement gaps and improve learning of all students. Building on the existing data systems, ADE will establish an enterprise-wide data architecture and construct and deploy a data warehouse that provides for integration of the Stateís fiscal, student and staff data. Using its own resources, augmented by funding from the IES grant, ADE plans to develop the following project components:
The project will be guided by a permanent Arkansas Department of Education Information Systems Planning Group (EISPG), which currently includes leaders both in Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) and the Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS). The EISPG will be broadened to include parent, teacher and administrator representatives. The project, which is already under way, is deeply embedded in the ongoing activities of ADE and DIS, which will ensure its sustainability following the federal funding period. Arkansas will partner with the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) for dissemination and networking services (DANS).
The grant funds will allow Arkansas to accelerate the pace and expand the scope of its work. The grant funds will allow for the addition of new elements to the current planned work including development of a comprehensive enterprise data model; development of a comprehensive data quality assurance plan; acquisition of the TRIAND electronic transcripts component of its planned architecture; distribution and use of warehouse data by parents, teachers, administrators and researchers; and the evaluation of the initiative and its impact on student achievement.