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REL Pacific

Data Systems in the Pacific Region

REL Pacific
Christina Tydeman
November 30, 2020

line art depicting scene of woman meeting online with four people with graphs, bar charts in the background

In our October, 2020 blog, we featured the COVID-19 resources we've shared with you over the past seven months, and talked a bit about the enormity of—and potential opportunities nested in—the sudden shift to virtual and blended learning. While the COVID-19 pandemic has been uniquely challenging to both systems and individuals, it also provides a unique opportunity to collect data and track outcomes at the outset of these new initiatives. In the Pacific region, the pandemic is both fast-tracking a shift to more digital learning and highlighting the important data systems work that is currently underway in the region.

Longitudinal Data Systems

As recipients of the National Center for Education Statistics' Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) grants, four K–12 systems in the Pacific region (Hawai'i, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) have embarked on developing longitudinal data systems (LDS) to provide data that will help education leaders and researchers answer some of the questions facing educators. These systems are likely to become essential supports for education leaders as they seek to understand the impact of the distance learning programs currently under development.

  • Hawai'i Department of Education (DOE) began development of its K–12 LDS in 2009 and later was a founding member of the Hawai'i Data eXchange Partnership (DXP) with other state agencies. The Data eXchange Partnership has created a preschool to work force (P20W) LDS, which allows researchers to analyze data about the transition points between systems and examine questions that cannot be answered by the data from a single system, such as relationships between course-taking patterns in high school and students' placement in credit-bearing courses in postsecondary institutions.
  • American Samoa DOE was an SLDS grant recipient in 2015. Their LDS is supporting an early childhood data collection system, standardizing their middle and high school transcripts, and developing a postsecondary education data system.
  • As a 2019 SLDS grant recipient, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Public School System (PSS) is in the early stages of the journey to establish an effective LDS infrastructure to support a shifting in data use from compliance to accountability and strategic instructional use. During school year 2020/21, CNMI is conducting a pilot of early literacy indicators for implementation into an LDS dashboard.
  • Guam DOE, a 2019 SLDS grant recipient, has created the Guam One Stop Data Village (GOSDV) in partnership with Guam Community College and the University of Guam. GOSDV's vision includes a unified Guam Education Agenda for Research, a system that links preschool to postsecondary data, a robust stakeholder engagement process, and a structured interagency data governance program with an LDS sustainability plan.

Hawai'i DOE, American Samoa DOE, CNMI PSS, and Guam DOE are to be commended for the dedication of their LDS partnerships in embarking on the complex and complicated longitudinal data system voyage. Developing and sustaining an LDS and the accompanying structures, protocols, and processes is a lengthy process requiring long-term commitments of resources. Since 2012, REL Pacific staff members have been pleased to support these regional partners in their conceptualization, implementation, and use of longitudinal data to improve education outcomes for students in the Pacific Region.

For more information about using education data and LDS-related resources, please visit: