Data Quality Campaign Announces Winners of Annual Leadership Award: Four Illinois Policymakers Receive DQC 2009 Leadership Award

Press Releases
Data Quality Campaign Announces Winners of Annual Leadership Award: Four Illinois Policymakers Receive DQC 2009 Leadership Award

Contact: Rebecca Carson

Washington, DC — Jan. 29, 2010 — Four Illinois state officials were honored by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) as this year’s State Policymakers of the Year. The Illinois officials received their award today during the DQC’s Annual Meeting & Progress Report. The DQC, a national partnership to improve the quality, accessibility and use of data in education, recognized the winners for their critical leadership role in changing the culture around data use for continuous improvement. The DQC also released the results of its first survey of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico on their progress toward implementing the DQC 10 Actions to Ensure Effective Use of Data.

The DQC accepted nominations from across the country to recognize leaders at the local and state level in improving the collection and use of longitudinal data. The DQC 2009 Leadership Award for state policymakers goes to:

  • Judy Erwin, Executive Director, Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Christopher Koch, Superintendent, Illinois Board of Education
  • Geoffrey Obrzut, President, Illinois Community College Board Senator
  • Heather Steans, Illinois General Assembly

Thanks to the collaborative leadership of these state policymakers, Illinois has made tremendous progress in the codification and implementation of a statewide longitudinal system. In 2009, with Governor Pat Quinn’s signature, Illinois passed significant comprehensive legislation around building and using a statewide longitudinal data system (Senate Bill 1828, Public Act 96-0107).

Introduced and championed by Senator Heather Steans, the law requires state education authorities to collect student records and integrate the data with instructional management tools that will ultimately improve instruction and enhance educational decision-making. The political and education coalition providing the driving force behind the bill’s success included Chris Koch, Geoffrey Obrzut, and Judy Erwin.

Illinois’ inclusive process brought together advocacy groups such as Advance Illinois and ensured that experts, including the Consortium on Chicago School Research and major stakeholders such as unions and the higher education community, were heard throughout the discussions. These state data champions were able to successfully bring K-12, postsecondary, unions, and advocacy groups together to craft this important legislation, overcome obstacles, and pass it unanimously through both chambers of the General Assembly.

“The resulting legislation outlines the critical actions states must take to provide education stakeholders access to important data to improve student outcomes while protecting student privacy,” said DQC Executive Director Aimee Rogstad Guidera. These leaders continue to work collaboratively to advance the development and implementation of a statewide longitudinal data system, as demonstrated by their collaboration on the recent Institute of Education Sciences Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grant, and the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate data sharing among institutions and agencies.

Additionally, the DCQ recognized exemplary data leaders in two other award categories. Mickey Garrison, Director of School Improvement, Oregon Education Enterprise Steering Committee, was awarded the State Data Director of the Year award for developing a statewide framework to build the capacity of all educators to use data to improve teaching and learning.

Superintendent Peter Gorman, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, was recognized as the District Data Leader of the Year for fostering a culture that uses data for continuous improvement.

To learn more about the award winners or to nominate a state or local leader for a 2010 DQC Leadership Award, please visit our website at


The DQC is a national, collaborative effort to encourage and support state policymakers to improve the collection, availability and use of high-quality education data and to implement state longitudinal data systems to improve student achievement. The campaign provides tools and resources that assist state development of quality longitudinal data systems while providing a national forum for reducing duplication of effort and promoting greater coordination and consensus among the organizations focusing on improving data quality, access and use.

For more information on the DQC, its tools and resources, and the 2009 survey results, visit

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the founding funder; additional support has been provided by the Casey Family Programs, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The DQC has conducted annual surveys on the status of state longitudinal data systems since its launch in 2005. For the first time this year, the survey captured state efforts to implement the DQC Actions to ensure the effective use of longitudinal data. For more information on the survey and its results please visit

Progress on the 10 State Actions for Effective Data Use
(2009 Results)

To ensure that state infrastructure investments in statewide longitudinal data systems are effectively leveraged to inform policy and practice, the DQC identified 10 State Actions for Effective Data Use. The 10 State Actions are the fundamental steps states must put in place to change the culture around how data are used to make state and local decisions to improve system and student performance.

  1. Link state K-12 data systems with early learning, postsecondary education, workforce, social services and other critical state agency data systems. Stable, Sustained Support. [2009-10 Results: 8 states]
  2. Create stable, sustained support for robust state longitudinal data systems. [2009-10 Results: 7 states]
  3. Develop governance structures to guide data collection, sharing and use. [2009-10 Results: 24 states]
  4. Build state data repositories (e.g., data warehouses) that integrate student, staff, financial and facility data. [2009-10 Results: 33 States]
  5. Implement systems to provide all stakeholders timely access to the information they need while protecting student privacy. [2009-10 Results: N/A*] *The DQC will not be issuing an analysis for Action 5 as because the survey instrument failed to collect adequate information.
  6. Create progress reports with individual student data that provide information educators, parents and students can use to improve student performance. [2009-10 Results: 10 states]
  7. Create reports that include longitudinal statistics on school systems and groups of students to guide school-, district- and state-level improvement efforts. [2009-10 Results: 17 states]
  8. Develop a purposeful research agenda and collaborate with universities, researchers and intermediary groups to explore the data for useful information. [2009-10 Results: 16 states]
  9. Implement policies and promote practices, including professional development and credentialing, to ensure that educators know how to access, analyze and use data appropriately. [2009-10 Results: 0 states]
  10. Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data and ensure that all key stakeholders, including state policymakers, know how to access, analyze and use the information. [2009-10 Results: 4 states]

Progress on the 10 Essential Elements of Longitudinal Data Systems

Longitudinal data — data gathered on the same student from year to year — make it possible to follow individual student academic growth, determine the value-added of specific programs, and identify consistently high-performing schools and systems. The DQC has identified the following 10 Essential Elements of a longitudinal data system and annually reports state progress in implementing each element:

  1. A unique student identifier that connects student data across key databases and across years. [Results: 2005 (36 states) 2009-10 (50 states)]
  2. Student-level enrollment, demographic, and program participation information. [Results: 2005 (38 states) 2009-10 (51 states)]
  3. The ability to match individual students’ test records from year to year to measure academic growth. [Results: 2005 (32 states) 2009-10 (50 states)]
  4. Information on untested students and the reasons they were not tested. [Results: 2005 (25 states) 2009-10 (47 states)]
  5. A teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students. [Results: 2005 (13 states) 2009-10 (24 states)]
  6. Student-level transcript data, including information on courses completed and grades earned. [Results 2005 (7 states) 2009-10 (23 states)]
  7. Student-level college readiness tests scores. [Results: 2005 (7 states) 2009-10 (36 states)]
  8. Student-level graduation and dropout data. [Results: 2005 (34 states) 2009-10 (51 states)]
  9. The ability to match student records between P-12 and postsecondary systems. [Results: 2005 (12 states) 2009-10 (33 states)]
  10. A state data audit system assessing quality, validity and reliability. [Results: 2005 (19 states) 2009-10 (51 states)]

DQC Managing and Endorsing Partners:

Managing Partners
Achieve, Inc.
Alliance for Excellent Education
Council of Chief State School Officers
Education Commission of the States
The Education Trust
National Association of State Boards of Education
National Association of System Heads
National Center for Educational Achievement
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
Schools Interoperability Framework Association
State Educational Technology Directors Association
State Higher Education Executive Officers

Endorsing Partners
3 Rivers Connect Academy for Educational Development
ACT Alliance for Quality Teaching
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of Community Colleges
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence
American Federation of Teachers
American Productivity & Quality Center
American Society for Quality
American Youth Policy Forum
Arise Citizens’ Policy Project
Association for Career and Technical Education
Business Higher Education Forum
Campaign for High School Equity
Center for Public Policy Priorities
Center for Teaching Quality
College Summit
Complete College America
Consortium for School Networking
Educational Policy Institute
Forum for Youth Investment
Foundation for Excellence in Education
Great Schools
Institute for a Competitive Workforce (An Affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Institute for Educational Leadership
Institute for Higher Education Policy
International Association for K 12 Online Learning
James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy
Jobs for the Future
Knowledge Alliance
League of Education Voters Foundation
Learning Point Associates
Maine Center for Economic Policy
Michigan League for Human Services
Midwestern Higher Education Compact
Military Child Education Coalition
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification
National Association of State Workforce Agencies
National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Certification
National Council on Teacher Quality National Math & Science Initiative
National School Boards Association National Staff Development Council
National Student Clearinghouse
Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest
New England Board of Higher Education
Northwest Evaluation Association
Pathways PA
Pathways to College Network
Pell Institute
Policy Innovators in Education Network
Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council
Pre K Now
Public Education Network
Roads to Success
Southern Regional Education Board
Statewide Poverty Action Network
Texas High School Project
The Workforce Alliance
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
Working Poor Families Project