For a number of years we’ve been working on improving the collection of data about education. This has been painful – there are 17 different data systems across K-12, plus different systems in each of the higher ed silos and no data collection at all in early learning. We’re trying to make sure we understand what works and what doesn’t. Good data is like History – without it we’re likely to repeat what we’ve been doing, regardless of how well it works.
Of course, none of the individual people who control their existing system want to change, so this has been a bit painful. We just got a big grant form the feds to improve our system. The following is from the Governor’s press release on the topic:
Washington Awarded $17.3 Million for Education Data System
For Immediate Release: May 21, 2010
OLYMPIA — Washington state was awarded $17.3 million for the design and implementation of a statewide data system, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced this morning.
The money is being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Known as a statewide longitudinal data systems grant, the money will support the development of an integrated data system from early childhood education to adult employment.
There’s more – click here: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/news-view.asp?pressRelease=1504&newsType=1