The Institute of Education Sciences has announced 24 new state level grants to support the design and implementation of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems.
The 2012 winners include eight first-time SLDS grantees: Delaware, Oklahoma, New Jersey, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The 2012 grants are for between $2.6 million and $5 million for three year projects and are authorized by the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002. The grants will support states’ work in three areas:
1. The design, development, and implementation of a statewide, longitudinal kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) data system;
2. The development and linking of early childhood data with the State’s K-12 data system; or
3. The development and linking of postsecondary and/or workforce data with the State’s K-12 data system.
Only one early childhood grant was awarded, to the Virgin Islands. This was also the smallest grant at $2.6 million. Nine K-12 grants were awarded, and fourteen postsecondary grants. In total the amount given away was $97 million.
The grantees were selected in a competition with award decisions based on merit, after consideration of the applicant’s proposal and funding available by an independent peer review panel. The 20 states which had previously received Recovery Act grants were ineligible for this round of funding.
Three states received top $5 million grants; Arizona, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. These were all K-12 grants. The smallest K-12 grant went to South Dakota with $3 million. The highest postsecondary grant was $4 million awarded to: Alaska, DC, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The smallest postsecondary grant was awarded to Idaho which received $3.1 million.
The SLDS Grant Program focuses on the principle that better decisions require better information.
Through grants and a growing range of services and resources, the program has helped propel the successful design, development, implementation, and expansion of K-12 and P-20W (early learning through the workforce) longitudinal data systems.
These systems are intended to aid States efficiently and accurately manage, analyse and use education data. This includes the use of individual student records. SLDSs help States and institutions make data informed decisions which should improve student learning and outcomes in addition to facilitating research aimed at increasing student achievement and closing achievement gaps.