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IES Grant

Title: Tennessee Department of Education Longitudinal Data System
Center: NCES Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Webb, Timothy K. Awardee: Tennessee Department of Education
Program: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program      [Program Details]
Award Period: 12/01/2005 through 07/01/2008 Award Amount: $3,226,313
Type: Longitudinal Data System Award Number: R372A060127

Since 1992, Tennessee has been maintaining a sophisticated longitudinal data set on each individual student as he or she is tested under the state’s assessment program. This dataset currently resides at the SAS Institute, Inc. in Cary, NC. The department also has a state-level longitudinal student enrollment data system, the Education Information System (EIS). Tennessee’s EIS contains student demographic and attendance data for all students in the State. EIS provides data analysis and archival data over multiple years and a unique student ID for all Tennessee students.

The state acquired a Statewide Student Management System (SSMS), to be fully integrated with EIS. The state began offering this to districts at no cost in 2003–04. A total of 33 districts have used SSMS during the 2004–05 school year and 39 additional districts will begin using it during the 2005–06 year.

In November, 2005, The Tennessee Department of Education (TNDOE) received a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to further develop their state-wide longitudinal data system. The TNDOE has already made progress on grant related efforts. The department has established a data governance process that includes a high-level policy committee, a Data Management Committee and designated Data Managers for all of the data elements collected and/or reported by the department. The department has begun work sessions to identify the data elements that it wishes to collect from districts in addition to those collected for EIS. The department has also begun a high-level strategic design review of the longitudinal data system architecture logical layout and data flow. Also, a series of vendor presentations for such products as ETL tools, data warehouses, business intelligence tools and metadata tools have been conducted for the purpose of raising the department’s level of awareness regarding the current state of technology in these areas. Two policies have been approved by the Policy Committee – one established the Data Management Policy and the role of Data Managers and the other addressed Data Security. The department has also conducted a data inventory of source systems and developed a first draft of a calendar of data collections.

Work to be Accomplished Under the Grant

Phase I of the project creates the necessary foundation for successfully managing data. This foundation includes policy, clearly defined responsibilities (Data Managers, Data Management Committee, Data Policy Committee), a single agency-wide data dictionary, a data inventory, data standards, a logical design for a comprehensive data architecture and a first step toward expanding the existing operational data store to include additional key student demographic data. Phase II is an effort to acquire and implement a business intelligence reporting tool and to develop an initial set of reports that represent the highest demand for information by the agency, legislature, community, schools and districts. Phase III is an effort to acquire and implement a data warehouse and set of ETL and/or School Interoperability Framework tools to facilitate data extraction, translation, sharing, integration, and loading. The purpose of the data warehouse is to archive data from various TNDOE operational data stores and to further facilitate longitudinal data analyses.

Other Work Planned

  • eReporting System This system will automate all financial activities and reporting. Upon completion of this work, all Local Finance and Disbursement activities will be stored in relational tables for inclusion in the Data Warehouse for use in the longitudinal data system.
  • Teacher Certification System This system will provide a work-flow process for certification of teachers in Tennessee.
  • SIF Pilot This effort will pilot vertical (from the district to the state) and horizontal (within the district) integration using state-supported SIF tools.