DQC “keeps the table set for data”
DQC works with both state and federal leaders on policies and practices that result in stronger data ecosystems—and that support individuals through education and the workforce.
While states have made tremendous progress on developing and expanding their systems, the work is never done. State leaders must:
- Prioritize policy actions that result in a state data culture in which all stakeholders have the data and support they need to make more informed decisions.
- Continue to make ongoing investments in data systems that link information from education to the workforce, and must go beyond building the technical infrastructure alone.
- Focus on the actions that will result in a robust data ecosystem in which all stakeholders have the data and support they need to make decisions that result in better opportunities and outcomes for all individuals.
DQC supports state leaders as they build better data systems
Since we were founded, we have continued to evolve our advocacy to keep policymakers focused on the most critical developments needed to build useful data systems:
- In 2005, DQC identified 10 Essential Elements of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, which provided a roadmap for states to build their longitudinal data systems.
- In 2009, DQC released 10 State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use to move states from collecting data for compliance and accountability to using data to answer critical policy questions, inform continuous improvement, and support student success.
- Most recently, DQC’s Four Policy Priorities to Make Data Work for Students provided a set of recommendations to change the focus from systems to people.
DQC advocates for best practices for sustainable P–20W data ecosystems
State leaders are pursuing their state’s data priorities in an increasingly complex policy environment. DQC works with both state and federal leaders on policies and practices that help states implement data ecosystems that provide value for the people they serve.
DQC offers advocacy support to state and local leaders, helping them think through the state-specific policies that will result in P–20W data ecosystems that are more transparent, sustainable, and useful for stakeholders. We believe that to be successful, data initiatives must be owned and led by stakeholders within the state. In order to push states toward these goals, we:
- Offer our expertise and advocacy support to leaders and partners who can make change happen within local contexts.
- Act as a critical friend to state leaders, both supporting best practice informed efforts and shining a light on areas where the work is not yet done.
- Provide platforms for conversations among organizations and state leaders with diverse perspectives to foster a shared vision and policy goals.
- Build a sense of shared ownership of actions that result in robust data ecosystems so that data movements have legs beyond a single champion.
DQC’s federal advocacy reflects what we learn about the priority needs of states. We meet with agency and legislative staff to educate them and offer recommendations for federal actions that can promote, support, and incentivize improvements to state data ecosystems. Some examples of DQC’s federal recommendations include:
- Dedicated federal investments in state and local data infrastructure to ensure that state leaders have the resources they need to modernize technology, expand data linkages, and create the human capacity needed to use the data.
- Requirements in legislation for indicators that provide state and local leaders with the information they need to measure and address inequities in opportunities and outcomes along the education to workforce pipeline.
- Federal incentives to push states to break down information silos by increasing cross-agency collaboration on their data systems.
- Federal requirements and guidance to ensure that states have guidelines and resources to publish and clearly explain critical data for stakeholders, especially families and other impacted community members.
- Federal guidance and technical assistance that improves state capacity to use data to improve outcomes and opportunities for individuals.
- Federal requirements to ensure states can implement effective privacy and security policies and practices so that individual data is safeguarded in a manner that also enables use.
In 2022, DQC launched the Data Champions Collaborative, an expansive effort to develop a bold new vision to make statewide longitudinal data systems robust (timely, granular, and accurate), well-funded, responsive to community and policymaker needs, and built to adapt as information needs change. In partnership with Results for America and the Data Foundation, our organizations will lead a conversation across the field, among national organizations representing students parents, teachers, state leaders, and philanthropy to clearly lay out what users need.
Resources for State and Federal Advocacy
Read more about DQC’s work to support state and federal leaders in their efforts to ensure that all stakeholders have the data and support they need to make more informed decisions.
State and Federal Advocacy in the News
Data is one of the most powerful tools to inform, engage, and create opportunities for individuals along their journey through education and into the workforce—and it‘s much more than test scores.
We advocate to change the role of data to ensure that data works for everyone navigating their education and workforce journeys.