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Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems

Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems
July 2009
PDF (231 KB)

FY 2009 funding:  $65 million
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:  $250 million
Grantees:  States
Type of Grant:  Competitive


The program provides grants to states to design, develop, and implement statewide P-20 longitudinal data systems to capture, analyze, and use student data from preschool to high school, college, and the workforce.


Since it started in fiscal year 2005, the program has awarded grants worth $265 million to 41 states and the District of Columbia. The Recovery Act competition requires that the data systems have the capacity to link preschool, K-12, and postsecondary education as well as workforce data. To receive State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, a state must provide an assurance that it will establish a longitudinal data system that includes the 12 elements described in the America COMPETES Act, and any data system developed with Statewide longitudinal data system funds must include at least these 12 elements. The elements are:

  1. An unique identifier for every student that does not permit a student to be individually identified (except as permitted by federal and state law);
  2. The school enrollment history, demographic characteristics, and program participation record of every student;
  3. Information on when a student enrolls, transfers, drops out, or graduates from a school;
  4. Students scores on tests required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
  5. Information on students who are not tested, by grade and subject;
  6. Students scores on tests measuring whether they’re ready for college;
  7. A way to identify teachers and to match teachers to their students;
  8. Information from students’ transcripts, specifically courses taken and grades earned;
  9. Data on students’ success in college, including whether they enrolled in remedial courses;
  10. Data on whether K-12 students are prepared to succeed in college;
  11. A system of auditing data for quality, validity, and reliability; and
  12. The ability to share data from preschool through postsecondary education data systems.

With such comprehensive data systems, states will be able to monitor their reforms and make specific changes to advance them. These data systems will capture data on students from one grade to the next, measuring whether they are on track to graduate and telling K-12 schools whether they are preparing their students to succeed in college and the workforce. The data systems also can help identify teachers who are succeeding so states can reward them, and find teachers who are struggling and help them improve.

A request for applications is being published in the Federal Register and will be available on

Iowa’s SLDS Grants

(2012) Iowa’s Education Outcome Collaborative: Building on P-20W Efforts

Start Date: 7/1/2012
End Date: 6/30/2015

Project Director: Jay Pennington

Amount Awarded: $3,747,281

  • Grant Application
  • Grant Abstract

(2009) Iowa’s Unified Longitudinal Data System Infrastructure

Start Date: 6/1/2009
End Date: 5/31/2014

Project Director: Jay Pennington

Amount Awarded: $8,777,459

  • Grant application
  • Grant abstract

Major Outcomes:

  • State LDS that can provide student-level data over time.
  • Interoperability between SEA and LEA data systems.
  • EdFacts system and four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent with that proposed by the NGA.
  • Expand K-12 longitudinal data systems to include a more robust set of data to the education community.
  • Interoperability with postsecondary data systems or create consolidated P-16 data systems, in a manner consistent with the requirements of FERPA.
  • Import workforce data from other sources to assess the extent to which high school graduates are adequately prepared for work or further education.
  • Send and receive transcripts of student applying to postsecondary educational institutions and/or moving across state lines.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics – Iowa Grantee page