The following profile is a representation of the Florida public education state longitudinal data system (SLDS) as presented through publicly available resources of public primary, secondary and higher education, information made available to the public through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Data Quality Campaign, published research articles, other third party internet resources (as noted), and direct contact with state and federal public education officials.   It is not a formal program evaluation.

The information provided is intended for use by academic researchers, state and federal public education policy makers, educators, and student households.

Introduction Evaluation Criteria Governance and Maintenance Data Providers
Funding Researcher Access Public User Portal Legal Statues
DQC Contact Schematic State Response
Download State Profile FSLDS Dashboard FSLDS Website NCES Funding:
2006   2009


The Florida Statewide Longitudinal Data System (FSLDS)[1] is Florida’s public education state longitudinal data system (SLDS), governed and managed by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). The FSLSD, created for the purpose of collecting and analyzing Florida public education data at the individual, course, institution, and system levels, aggregates data records from the breadth of the Florida public education collection systems. The combined data collection systems are part of a nation-wide effort to record granular public education detail over time in order to document the entirety of students’ education experience. This information is intended to be available for analysis and public policy consideration for the purpose of producing improvements in student learning at elementary, secondary, post-secondary, and higher education levels, and to optimize labor market outcomes, individually and generally.

Florida is one of the 47 states having received public funding to create a state longitudinal data system (SLDS). Despite state-to-state differences, each SLDS shares a common purpose of supporting research and analysis with the intent of informing individual, household, and public policy decisions based on standardized criteria.

[1] The Florida Statewide Longitudinal Data System is managed by the Florida Department of Education http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/data-sys/statewide-longitudinal-data-sys/
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Evaluation Criteria

This review assesses the overall quality of the FSLDS as an SLDS by considering the nature of the organization maintaining the data system, those agencies and institutions providing inputs to the data system, and to which agencies and institutions the data systems’ outputs are available. The assessment also considers the data system’s funding mechanisms, internal and external researcher data accessibility, the quality of the data system’s public user interface (dashboard), and the data systems current Data Quality Campaign (DQC)[1] ranking. This report considers each of these criteria pertaining to the FSLDS and provides contact information to the departments and individuals who maintain and manage the FSLDS.

[1] The Data Quality Campaign is a national, nonprofit organization leading the effort to bring every part of the education community together to empower educators, parents, and policymakers with quality information to make decisions that ensure students excel
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Governance and Maintenance

The FSLDS is governed and managed by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), the state department tasked with developing and maintaining Florida’s public primary and secondary education system. FDOE created a data governance structure to aid in the development and management of the data system. This governance structure has three different groups, the Executive Steering Committee (ESC), the Program Leadership Team (PLT), and the Program Management Team (PMT). The ESC has ultimate authority over the FSLDS and establishes the allowed processes through which FSLDS data will be collected and used. The ESC also sets clear security policies that govern how this data will be accessed by state agents and researchers. [1]

The ESC is comprised of the following members:

  • The Commissioner of the FDOE
  • The Deputy Commissioner for Accountability, Research, and Measurement (FDOE)
  • The Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Operations (FDOE)

The PLT has direct oversight over the FSLDS operations and reports directly to the ESC. The PLT ensures that the data governance policies set by the ESC are carried out by the employees working with the FSLDS. The PLT also reviews all proposals from state agents, institutions, and researchers that request access to data contained within the FSLDS for analysis and evaluation purposes.

The PLT is comprised of the following members:

  • The Statewide Longitudinal Data System Program Director (FDOE)
  • The Accountability, Research and Management (ARM) Race to the Top (RTTT) Director
  • The Chief Information Officer (FDOE)

The PMT oversees the daily operations of the FSLDS and manages the staff members who develop, implement, and utilize the data system. The PMT is led by the SLDS Program Director and Project Manager.

The FDOE maintains the PK-20 Education Data Warehouse, a data repository that incorporates twenty-seven different data sources into one longitudinal data system, the FSLDS.  The FDOE works with the providers of these data sources to modernize and enhance their data systems so the FSLDS can provide timely access to reliable data. The FDOE also continuously develops the PK-20 Education Data Warehouse to provide additional functions and capabilities to data providers and the Florida general public.[2]

[1] Information obtained from the Florida Department of Education http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/data-sys/statewide-longitudinal-data-sys/
[2] Information provided by the Florida Department of Education http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/data-sys/edw/
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Data Providers

The FSLDS receives data records from a multitude of different data sources which span the breadth of the Florida public education and workforce systems. The largest data contributors are the FDOE’s Division of Public Schools, Division of Workforce Development, and Florida College System. These divisions provide the following data records to the FSLDS:[1]

  • Division of Public Schools – PK-12 data records
  • Florida College System – Higher-Ed data records
  • Division of Workforce Development – Labor force data records

The Division of Public Schools provides PK-12 student and staff data records from every public PK-12 education institution in the state of Florida. Student data contains information about student demographics, socioeconomic factors, achievement levels, graduation and dropouts rates. Staff data contains information about teacher’s duties, qualifications and experience. The Florida College System provides higher-education data records from every public community college and state university in the state of Florida. These data records contain student, personnel, faculty and admissions information. The Division of Workforce Development provides labor force data about Florida student outcomes. These data records contain information about student demographics, education obtainment and performance levels, employment outcomes, and wage records. In addition to these data sources, the FSLDS receives data records from other sources that provide information about student financial aid, additional student assessments, facilities, special education programs, early childhood programs, human resources, and finances.

The data records pertaining to the same individual from these various data sources are linked in the FSLDS through several different means. The primary tool used to link these data records is the Statewide Unique Identifier (SID). The SID is a unique identifier variable assigned to every student, staff or faculty member that enters into Florida’s public education system at any level. These SIDs remain attached to these individuals throughout the remainder of their lives, following through their education and employment experiences. The FSLDS also will use other identifier variables when possible to assist in the data linkage process, such as first and last names, dates of birth and social security numbers.[2]

[1] See ref. 3
[2] See ref. 3
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FDOE applied for federal funding through the Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grant program administered by the Institute of Education Sciences, an agency of the United States Department of Education, in 2006 and 2009 and was awarded three grants, the 2006 SLDS Grant, the 2009 SLDS Grant, and the 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant. These grants were awarded to FDOE to develop, implement and enhance the FSLDS. The 2006 SLDS Grant awarded Florida $1,577,602 to increase the capabilities of the FSLDS. These funds were used to pay for the various costs associated with data system development, including: travel, equipment, supplies, contractual and construction cost. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include:[1]

  • Replacement of Facilities system
  • Integration of facility and cost information into the Education Data Warehouse for both historical data and current data through use of an Operational Data Store
  • Deployment to analysts and policy makers through a web-base business intelligence environment
  • Publication and distribution of a guidebook outlining design conventions to be considered when establishing integrated finance, facilities, and student information systems

The 2009 SLDS Grant awarded Florida $2,450,000 to develop a data governance process and automated data request management system. These funds were used to pay for the various costs associated with data system management development, including: travel, equipment, and contractual costs. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include: [2]

  • Improve the usability of data through a self-service tool
  • Improve the efficiency with which data requests are fulfilled
  • Improve the reliability of research conducted through the use of common business rules
  • Expand the reporting capabilities of Florida by creating a process to determine common definitions across sectors and by relaxing the constraints on staff resources
  • Expand the use of Florida’s data by the State for educational decision-making and by external entities for educational research purposes
  • Alleviate the use of staff to fulfill data requests

The 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant awarded Florida $9,975,288 for the purpose of upgrading the data sources that are incorporated into the FSLDS and the increasing the capabilities of the data system. These funds were used to pay for the various costs associated with data system development, including: travel, contractual, other, and indirect costs. The proposed outcome to be produced using this funding include:[3]

  • Upgrade the four major source data systems that are incorporated into Florida’s Education Data Warehouse
  • Employ a unique identifier system so that social security numbers are no longer the key field for tracking students between the Local Education Agencies and the State
  • Provide several different reporting capabilities for use by a myriad of stakeholders

The Florida has also awarded funding through the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top program.

[1] Information obtained from Florida 2006 SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Florida2006.pdf
[2] Information obtained from Florida 2009 SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Florida2009.pdf
[3] Information obtained from the Florida 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Florida2009-ARRA.pdf
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Research Accommodation

Outside researchers interested in analyzing and evaluating data contained within the FSLDS must submit a data request to the FDOE. This data request must contain information about the purpose of the research, how the requestor will ensure that the data will be handled safely and securely, the methodology that will be used in the research, and an explanation of how the research will benefit a local or state education agency or institution. Data requests that fail to or inadequately address these questions will be rejected. Approved data requests will take time to be processed by the FDOE, requestors should expect to wait a minimum of three months from the time a final and complete proposal is submitted to receive a approved or not approved decision. [1]

[1] See ref. 9
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Public User Portal

The FSLDS online public user portal, labeled the Florida PK-20 Education Information Portal, provides reports and statistical information about PK-12, higher education, career and adult education and employment outcomes for Florida students, staff and schools. These resources are intended to be useful to interested parties such as administrators, educators, policy makers, parents, and students in the state of Florida. The quality of this portal will be evaluated using several different criteria which include: the user friendliness of the portal, the extent of data offered by the portal, whether the portal is self-sufficient or relies upon other webpages to provide information, and the extent of customizable reports that can be created using the portal. [1]

  • User-friendliness:
    • The portal is intuitive to navigate and provides detailed descriptions about the types of information available within the portal. The home page of the portal includes User Manual tab which offers step-by-step instructions explaining how to generate and interpret reports graphs and tables in the portal. The home page also includes a Contact tab that users may utilize if they cannot successfully navigate the portal.
  • Extent of data offering:
    • The portal is actually comprised of three separate portals, the PK-12 portal, FCS portal, and the FETPIP portal. The PK-12 portal provides aggregate level data about Florida’s PK-12 students and staff in a variety of formats including graphs, tables, maps and custom reports. The FCS portal provides access to standard reports and customizable reports about Florida’s college students and staff. The FETPIP portal provides access to standard and interactive reports about the education, employment and earnings outcomes of Florida’s students.
  • Self-sufficiency of the portal:
    • Each of the portals contained in the Florida PK-20 Education Information Portal provide direct access to standard and interactive reports about relevant education and employment outcomes. All of these portals are accessible through the Florida PK-20 Education Information Portal.
  • Extent of customizable reports that can be created using the portals:
    • The portals allow users to create customizable aggregate student level reports using multiple tools. These tools enable users to construct interactive charts and tables to analyze various factors and outcomes in the PK-12, higher education, and workforce systems. Uses can customize these charts and tables using a wide variety of variables such as cohort years, schools and districts, and student performance metrics.
[1] Information obtained by analyzing the Florida PK-20 Education Information Portal https://edstats.fldoe.org/SASPortal/public
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In the 2016 Florida Statutes, Statute 1008.385 addresses the FDOE’s education planning and information systems. This statute mandates:

“The Commissioner of Education [FDOE] shall develop and implement an integrated information system for education management. The system must be designed to collect, via electronic transfer, all student and school performance data required to ascertain the degree to which schools and school districts are meeting state performance standards, and must be capable of producing data for a comprehensive annual report on school and decisions.”

(Florida Statute 1008.385 [2]) [1]

[1] Florida Statute 1008.385 http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=1008.385&URL=1000-1099/1008/Sections/1008.385.html#
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The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan national advocacy organization that evaluates each state’s longitudinal data system to determine how effectively each state uses their data system for education improvement purposes. The DQC’s annual survey, Data for Action (DFA)[1], measures each state’s progress towards implementing the 10 Essential Elements of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems and the Ten State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use[2], a set of elements and policy actions proposed to produce quality data systems and increase student achievement within in each state.

Florida has currently met each of the 10 essential elements:

  • Element 1 – Statewide student identifier
  • Element 2 – Student-level enrollment data
  • Element 3 – Student-level test data
  • Element 4 – Information on untested students
  • Element 5 – Statewide teacher identifier with a teacher-student match
  • Element 6 – Student-level course completion data
  • Element 7 – Student-level SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement exam data
  • Element 8 – Student-level graduation and dropout data
  • Element 9 – Ability to match student-level P-12 and higher education data
  • Element 10 – State data audit system

Florida has currently met 8 of the 10 state actions:

  • State Action 1 – Link state K-12 data systems with early learning, workforce, and other critical state agency data systems
  • State Action 2 – Create stable, sustainable support for longitudinal data systems
  • State Action 4 – Build state data repositories
  • State Action 6 – Create progress reports with student-level data for educators, students, and parents
  • State Action 7 – Create reports with longitudinal statistics to guide system-level change
  • State Action 8 – Develop a purposeful research agenda
  • State Action 9 – Implement policies and promote practices to build educators’ capacity to use data
  • State Action 10 – Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data

It should be noted that the Data Quality Campaign assessed each state’s progress towards completing the state actions in 2014. At that time, Florida had failed to meet the following two state actions:

  • State Action 3 – Develop governance structures for longitudinal data systems
  • State Action 5 – Provide timely, role-based access to data

Data Quality Campaign score: 8/10

[1] DQC’s annual survey, Data for Action (DFA), is a powerful tool to inform efforts in education to better use data in decision making. It is a series of analyses that highlight state progress and key priorities to promote the effective use of longitudinal data to improve student achievement
[2] DQC’s 10 Essential Elements of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems and 10 State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use provide a roadmap for state policymakers to create a culture of effective data use in which quality data are not only collected but also used to increase student achievement
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Florida Department of Education
Shawna Reid
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 522
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
Bureau Chief
Email: K20EDW@fldoe.org

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State Response

SLDS stakeholders listed under Contacts (above) have been provided a copy of this State Profile and given an opportunity to provide comments in response.  No comments have been received for this state to date.

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