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IES Grant

Title: Florida Department of Education Statewide Longitudinal Data System
Center: NCES Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Pfeiffer, Jay Awardee: Florida Department of Education
Program: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program      [Program Details]
Award Period: 12/01/2005 through 11/30/2008 Award Amount: $1,577,602
Type: Longitudinal Data System Award Number: R372A060147

Florida’s automated management information systems exemplify the strengths and weaknesses often associated with mature, large-scale data repositories. The legacy systems are robust and stable; however, over time, modifications have been made to accommodate the changing and expanding requirements of users at the federal, state, and local levels. The unit record databases support the funding and management of educational delivery systems (public schools, community colleges, and universities) and student financial aid. Student record level databases also provide linkages through course enrollment records to staff and facilities databases. Although they are performing functions that exceed original design parameters, Florida’s current systems allow students to be tracked from initial enrollment through the K-12 system, into postsecondary education and into employment.

Historical data from 1995-96 forward are archived in the K-20 Education Data Warehouse (EDW). A significant strength of this data repository is that it is student centric. That is, it relies on a constant, unique student identifier to provide linkages between student, staff, teacher certification, and assessment databases. The EDW contains four key data subject areas or facets, with multiple sub-areas and cross-subject bridges. The Student Demographic facet collects information about a specific student, such as race, gender, and age; as well as linkages with other subject areas based on participation, such as awards received or course enrollments, or indicators applicable to the student such as test scores, attendance or financial aid. The Educational Institution facet covers the organizations and facilities that provide educational opportunities. The Employee facet looks at teachers serving students and contains information about certifications, experience, and teaching assignments. The Educational Curriculum facet deals with courses and programs at all levels and types of educational offerings. This facet is a key linkage between all the facets by bringing together the student, teacher, course and institution information.

Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grant Work

Florida proposes to engage in a systematic process of integrating information from the Florida school district financial and facilities systems into the existing EDW environment. This will provide an unprecedented, new capacity to tie indicators of student progress and outcomes directly to detailed administrative, instructional, and program-level costs at the classroom level. Similarly, indicators of student success will be linked to details about the facilities in which they are educated. During the initial phase (Year 1) of this project, facilitated Joint Application Design (JAD) sessions will produce a comprehensive set of requirements and planning documents to serve as a road map for the subsequent integration of appropriate facilities and financial information into the EDW. The Department will thus be positioned to complete the fully integrated longitudinal database in Years 2 and 3.

A powerful business intelligence tool will be deployed during the three-year grant period to facilitate sophisticated analyses of the integrated data by an expanded and more diversified set of users. A web application and dedicated web site will be produced and regularly updated with a menu of standard reports.

The Florida Department of Education will produce and distribute a layman’s Guidebook outlining key design conventions to be considered by states as they move toward establishing seamless integrated finance, facilities, and student information systems.

Other Work Planned

The principal long-term benefits of this project will accrue from the increased access that parents, teachers, policymakers, researchers, managers and other consumer constituencies will be given to both transactional and archived (historical) data. Greater accountability and improved classroom instruction will be derived from two specific enhancements, the business intelligence tool described within the grant work and the "Sunshine Connections" project.

"Sunshine Connections" is a five year project with Microsoft to build a system that will combine real-time school-level data with state-level longitudinal data. This project will place on a teacher's desktop each student's performance in key areas matched to instructional tools tailored to address students' demonstrated strengths and weaknesses. A statewide web portal will be created to serve as a single, organized gateway into the combined resources of schools, school districts, and the state. The "Sunshine Connections" project is now at the end of Year 1.