Education Commission of the States has researched Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource. To complement our research, we attempted to reach out to all 50 states and Washington D.C. to gather and verify information. 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.

For an infographic highlighting key findings, click here.

Published in March 2017, the policy report Examining SLDS Development and Utility explores statewide longitudinal data systems, including benefits and obstacles of connecting education data, and provides a comprehensive look at data systems in three states through detailed case studies.

Metric Definitions

Core Agencies and Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems: We designated four state agencies as “core agencies” within Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems: Early Learning, K-12, Postsecondary, and Workforce. We then defined a Statewide Longitudinal Data System as one with formal connections across two or more of these core agencies. States were required to include at least two of these core agencies in their data systems to be designated as having established an SLDS. As such, the data systems that meet our definition might not always be those systems associated with the Federal SLDS grant program.

Centralized vs. Federated Systems: We classified state data systems that collect, retain, and maintain data from multiple agencies in a centralized warehouse as “centralized” systems, and state data systems where data from participating agencies were linked either temporarily or on an “as needed” basis only as “federated” systems.

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

Key Takeaways

  • All 50 states and Washington D.C. have the ability to connect data between systems
  • 37 states and Washington D.C. currently do connect data between at least two of the four core systems (Early Learning, K-12, Postsecondary, Workforce)
  • 16 states and Washington D.C. have a full P20W system
  • 26 states have a centralized system, while 11 states have a federated system
  • Of the 38 states (and D.C.) that connect data…
    • 14 states and D.C. created their system through statute or legislation
    • 18 states created their system primarily through a federal grant
    • 3 states created their system through Memorandums of Understanding between agencies
    • 2 states created their system by Executive Order

50-State Comparisons

  1. All data points for all states
  2. Did the state receive a Federal SLDS Grant? Years of the Grant?
  3. Does the state have a Statewide Longitudinal Data System? What is the name of the SLDS?
  4. How was the SLDS established?
  5. How are the connections structured?
  6. Which of the four core agencies (EL, K12, PS, WF) are included?

Related Resources

Staff Contact
Zeke Perez

 PUBLISHED: October 17, 2016




 STATE(S): Nationwide

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