Dr. James Benson
Dr. Allen Ruby
Dr. Corinne Alfeld
In FY 2021, IES began the Using Longitudinal Data to Support State Policymaking grant program (Using Data for Policymaking) to expand State agencies' use of their State Longitudinal Data Systems* (SLDS) for generating evidence in support of education policy decisions. The Using Data for Policymaking grants carry out research aligned with what State agencies want to know about a specific education issue, program, or policy and also generate findings with practical implications for the State agency's decision making.
The research must make use of the State’s SLDS but may also use secondary data from other sources and/or collect primary data to better answer the research questions, especially for learner subgroups for which little or only lower quality data are available in the SLDS. In addition, the research must address learner academic outcomes and may include other outcomes of interest to the State agency. State agencies may apply for these grants on their own or in collaboration with other organizations (the grantee may be any organization capable of carrying out rigorous research). The State agency must provide either the Principal Investigator (PI) or a co-PI. Proposed research can address learners in pre-kindergarten, K–12, postsecondary, and/or adult education.
The focus of the Using Data for Policymaking grant making has varied over time:
Research proposed under this grant program should support what the specific State agency wants to know about how to improve learners' access and achievement and the findings should have practical implications for the State agency's decision making on programs and policies relevant to learners.
* The separate IES Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grant program provides grants, resources, and services to support States as they design, develop, implement, and expand their K-12 and P-20W (early learning through the workforce) longitudinal data systems. States use these systems to manage their education data, including student records, and to facilitate research aimed at improving student learning and outcomes and closing achievement gaps. Based on the seven rounds of funding, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa have received at least one SLDS grant.