state analysis by state action


Link Data Systems
19 states have this Action

Link state K–12 data systems with early learning, postsecondary, workforce, and other critical state agency data systems

By linking data systems across the P-20 /workforce spectrum, states will be able to evaluate whether students, schools and districts are meeting states’ college and career readiness expectations. However, academic data and performance histories alone cannot provide a complete picture of the challenges students face and the programs and services they take part in outside the classroom that affect student achievement.

State Progress

There is a growing demand for postsecondary data to answer critical policy questions.

  • 43 states link K–12 and postsecondary data systems, up from 38 states in 2011, helping them evaluate whether students, schools, and districts are meeting college-readiness expectations.
  • 27 states link postsecondary and workforce data systems, an increase from 14 states in 2011, allowing states to determine whether students are prepared for the workforce.
  • Most states (44) have created high school feedback reports that provide information on how graduates fare in postsecondary. Forty-one of these states make the reports publicly available.

What Does It Take For States to Accomplish DQC's Action 1

  • K–12 and early childhood data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.

    43 states match
  • K–12 and postsecondary data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.

    43 states match
  • K–12 and workforce data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.

    19 states match

Recommendations for Moving Forward

Meaningful, useful P–20W data sharing is still lacking.

  • While 43 states match K–12 data with early childhood, most links are not able to provide all the data that stakeholders need. Many states can link K–12 data systems to special education (44 states) and state prekindergarten programs (42) but not to subsidized child care (12) or Head Start/Early Head Start programs (23).
  • Among the 43 states that match K–12 and postsecondary data, most states are sharing data on students’ entry into postsecondary, such as postsecondary enrollment (43) or remediation status (38). Fewer states (32) are sharing data on students’ outcomes, such as completion or degree status, which does not give states a complete picture of students’ success at the postsecondary level.
  • Only 19 states link K–12 and workforce data systems, which limits states’ ability to have a meaningful understanding of how students are being prepared for the workforce.


  • Roadmap for Early Childhood and K–12 Data Linkages Read More.
    January 20, 2016

  • Sealing the Cracks: Using graduation data, policy, and practice to keep all kids on track Read More.
    November 13, 2015

  • Mr. Maya’s Data-Rich Year Read More.
    October 13, 2015


  • The Every Student Succeeds Act Says, “YES, Data Matter!” Read More.
    December 15, 2015

  • Learning Your School’s Data Tools Read More.
    December 8, 2015

  • EdData Privacy Update 12/4/2015 Read More.
    December 4, 2015