The inaugural report is based on a nationwide survey conducted by WDQC in which states rated their progress on a 13-point blueprint for strong data systems. The report finds that of the 40 states plus the District of Columbia that participated in the survey, 37 are moving toward tracking whether education and workforce program participants move on to get employment with good earnings.
The report shows that states are making progress toward creating more effective state data systems—data that will help ensure that education and training programs are preparing people for in-demand jobs with good earnings, that students know which degrees and certificates will lead to high-paying professions, and that states can attract businesses that align with the talents of their workforce.
Several states are standouts for their achievements using data to support education and workforce development. Best practices include the following:
Utah has strong interagency governance of its data system. It reports the one-year and five-year wages of its public college graduates and shows which industries employ graduates with specific majors.
Maryland is a model for measuring how many of its citizens have completed education and training. State leaders have set goals for postsecondary education to make the Maryland workforce more competitive.
Florida was one of the earliest states that linked data to assess the progress of students from K–12 through college and into careers. The state uses data to attract employers with reports about local workforce skills.
North Carolina and Maine both released online tools in the past few months that show the later-in-life earnings of college graduates.
While many states have come a long way on their workforce data systems, some still cannot answer important questions about whether students and workforce program participants are earning valuable credentials and advancing in careers.
This report will serve as a baseline so that future WDQC surveys can measure how states are improving on different dimensions of the blueprint and continue to develop where there are areas for improvement.
Education funders play an irreplaceable role in improving the results achieved by the social sector—as thought leaders, advocates for better decisionmaking and data systems, and early investors in strategies with potential to scale throughout the field. Throughout 2014 the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has gathered funders to develop practical ideas for improving their work with data, and at this year’s annual conference of the Grantmakers for Education in Miami, DQC Executive Director Aimee Rogstad Guidera will introduce these ideas at two important sessions:
Becoming a Data-Driven Enterprise: Increasing Effectiveness in Grantmaking
Wednesday, October 22, 1:00 p.m.
As grantmakers, we make difficult decisions about where to invest limited resources, often without as much information as we would wish on the needs of schools and students or the effectiveness of the programs serving them. Grantmakers often wrestle with how to use data to increase the impact of education philanthropy. This session uses real word examples, an interactive format, and a new resource to help attendees think strategically about how to enrich their grantmaking through smart uses of education data.
Speakers: Kelem Butts, Aimee Rogstad Guidera
Policy Update: The Education Pipeline and Better, Safer Data Use (Education Policy Working Group
Thursday, October 23, 9:30 a.m.
This policy seminar is intended to serve as an overview and update on the many policy developments, discussions, and issues involving data use and privacy that have arisen over the past year. Data usage and sharing is being spurred on by what many view as important improvements and innovations in education. These include school records that can chart instructional and learning alignment between grades and segments in the education pipeline, sophisticated student tracking and advising systems, and personalized learning structures including competency-based education. Many view intentional data usage as the foundation for innovation in our education system as it enables more nimble responses to all learners. We know that other sectors—mainly the health care industry—have also grappled with these issues. What lessons learned can be borrowed and applied to education? In a set of interactive discussions anchored by an expert panel, this session will examine recent policy developments.
Speakers: Hanna Doerr, Aimee Rogstad Guidera, Matt Williams, Doug Levin, Geoff Zimmerman