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State Longitudinal Data Systems
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Accountability data are stored in large databases that contain student or school assessment results and other indicators and background variables. The challenge is to make these data available and useful for several interrelated purposes: monitoring schools and districts, making policy decisions, supporting school improvement, and helping teachers do a better job of diagnosing learning difficulties and placing students.

States typically report school and student data from the state accountability system to districts and schools on an annual basis. An increasing trend is for districts and schools to use software packages to house student data from state assessments as well as data collected at the district, school and classroom level. These software packages support descriptive statistics and disaggregated data that help teachers and administrators identify teaching and learning problems and correct them through effective interventions. Some states require school-improvement planning processes in which data is used to identify school weaknesses as well as assess progress toward the improvement plan.

This issue site provides information about various state approaches to storing and using data for accountability purposes.


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