Education Commission of the States researched Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems policies in all states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to provide this comprehensive resource. Click on the questions below for 50-State Comparisons showing how all states approach specific SLDS policies, or choose to view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.

50-State Comparisons

Metric Definitions

Core Agencies and Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems: Four state agencies are designated as core agencies within any SLDS: early learning, K-12, postsecondary and workforce. For the purposes of this 50-State Comparison, an SLDS is defined as one with formal connections across two or more of these core agencies. States with at least two of these core agencies in their data systems are designated as having established an SLDS. As such, the data systems that meet this definition might not always be those systems associated with the federal SLDS Grant Program.

Centralized vs. Federated Systems: State data systems that collect, retain and maintain data from multiple agencies in a centralized warehouse are designated as centralized systems and state data systems where data from participating agencies were linked either temporarily or on an as-needed basis are federated systems.

Systems in Development: If a state’s SLDS is still in development, the state is not designated as having established an SLDS. However, Education Commission of the States made its best efforts to identify such states and designate them as being in the process of establishing an SLDS.

Key Takeaways

  • All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have the ability to connect data between systems.
  • Forty states and the District of Columbia currently connect data between at least two of the four core systems (early learning, K-12, postsecondary and workforce).
  • Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have a full P20W system that captures data across all four core agencies, from early learning through the workforce.
  • Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have a centralized system, while 12 states have a federated system.
  • Of the 40 states and the District of Columbia that connect data:
    • Fifteen states and the District of Columbia created their system through statute or legislation.
    • Twenty states created their system primarily through a federal grant.
    • Three states created their system through memorandums of understanding between agencies.
    • Two states created their system through executive order.

Related Resources

Using State Data Systems to Create an Information Culture in Education
Examining SLDS Development and Utility
50-State Comparison: Arts Education Data Collection and Reporting
Data Quality Campaign

Staff Contact
Zeke Perez Jr.
zperez@ecs.org
303.299.3639


 PUBLISHED: August 19, 2019

 AUTHOR(S):

 RESOURCE TYPE:

 EDUCATION LEVEL:

 STATE(S): Nationwide

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