The following profile is a representation of the Illinois 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|
|Download State Profile||ILDS Dashboard||ILDS Website||NCES Funding:
The Illinois Longitudinal Data System (ILDS) is Illinois’s public education state longitudinal data system (SLDS) governed by the LDS Governing Board, an intergovernmental committee comprised of the members from each of the state agencies that contribute to the ILDS and an appointee from the Office of the Governor. The ILDS, created for the purpose of collecting and analyzing Illinois public education data at the individual, course, institution, and system levels, aggregates data records from the breadth of the Illinois public education systems. The combined data collection systems are part 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.
Illinois 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.
 The Illinois Longitudinal Data System enables state agencies to link early childhood, education, and workforce data to answer questions critical to understanding Illinois’s future education workforce needs https://www.illinoisworknet.com/ILDS/Pages/default.aspx
 State longitudinal data systems are intended to enhance the ability of states to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, and use education data https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/about_SLDS.asp
This review assesses the overall quality of the ILDS 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 system’s current Data Quality Campaign (DQC) ranking. This report considers each of these criteria pertaining to ILES and provides contact information to the departments and individuals who maintain and manage the SLDS.
 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 http://dataqualitycampaign.org/
Governance and Maintenance
The ILDS is governed by the ILDS Governing Board, a committee comprised of the representatives from the stage agencies whose data systems provide data records to the ILDS and an appointee from the Office of the Governor. The members of the board include:
- Illinois Board of Higher Education
- Illinois Community College Board
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
- Illinois Department of Employment Security
- Illinois Department of Human Services
- Illinois State Board of Education
- Illinois Student Assistance Commission
- Office of the Governor
The ILDS Governing Board works to establish an internal set of tools, systems and processes for the ILDS that can be shared across state agencies to ensure data interoperability between each agencies’ data system. The ultimate goal of the board is to support the analysis and understanding of lifelong education and workforce policies and programs within the state of Illinois and allow the state education and workforce policy makers to utilize research based decision making practices. The board addresses issues that are shared by each of the participating state agencies, such as how data will be accessed by internal and external agents, how data records will be secured and how to ensure that the participating state agencies share data in accordance with established procedures and rules. The board is mandated to address these issues in ways that ensure robust protections for individual privacy and compliance with all pertinent state and federal laws. The board also works with external advisors working within the education and workforce fields to make certain that the ILDS is inclusive to outside perspectives and audiences.
An important role of the board is to annually establish a plan for major ILDS-related activities for the upcoming 18 months. This plan guides the agencies in determining ILDS priorities and projects.
 The Illinois Board of Higher Education was created in 1961 to plan and coordinate Illinois’s system of colleges and universities http://www.ibhe.org/aboutBHE/default.htm
 The Illinois Community College Board strives to provide high-quality, accessible, cost-effective educational opportunities for the individuals and communities they serve https://www.iccb.org/iccb/
 The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides free and confidential services to companies seeking to locate or expand in Illinois http://www.illinois.gov/dceo/Pages/default.aspx
 The Illinois Department of Employment Security encourages economic growth and stability in Illinois http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Pages/mission.aspx
 The Illinois Department of Human Services strives to reduce poverty and keep individuals and families out of the deep-end of social service systems http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=27897
 The Illinois State Board of Education provides leadership and resources to achieve excellence across all Illinois districts by advocating for policies that enhance education http://www.isbe.net/board/pdf/mission_statement.pdf
 The Illinois Student Assistance Commission mission is to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students https://www.isac.org/about-isac/
 Information provided by 2016 ILDS Annual Report & Plan https://www.illinoisworknet.com/ILDS/Pages/Resources.aspx
The ILDS is both a governance system to establish and manage data sharing priorities and projects across the 7 agencies, as well as a technical approach to identity resolution across the 7 agencies. For the purpose of addressing identity resolution, the ILDS receives demographic data from each of the state agencies that comprise the ILDS Governing Board. The data records from the various state agencies’ data systems are compiled in the Centralized Demographic Dataset (CDD) and managed by the Centralized Demographic Dataset Administrator (CDDA). The CDDA maintains a data warehouse which contains the CDD and the Master Client Index (MCI), a data system which performs record linkage between data records within the CDD. The MCI provides data interoperability between the state agencies’ data systems that provide records to the CDD, improving the quality of data and matching rates within the CDD. The CDDA is tasked to provide the following services that generally relate to the identity resolution system:
- Develop and maintain a Batch File Exchange process to achieve a standardized exchange protocol for the data records compiled within the ILDS
- Develop and provide maintenance for the Master Client Index that identifies and tracks each state agencies unique identifier from their respective data systems
- Provide identity resolution services to identify and reconcile records with the MCI
- Provide a confidence rating service to determine matches and non-matches between data records from different state agencies’ data systems
Northern Illinois University (NIU) was officially designated to be the CDDA for the ILDS. NIU was chosen through a competitive RFP process because of its ability to provide supporting services to the ILDS in addition to the previously mentioned services. NIU developed a CDDA dashboard with a user-friendly interface which enables authorized LDS agency staff members to easily monitor and manage CDD data activities. NIU also provides demographic data standardization guidance and technical support to the LDS agencies. It establishes common data structures and data definitions that LDS agencies should adhere to and follow within their data systems to reduce potential data errors and inconsistencies between different system’s data records.
The data records provided by the LDS agencies allow the ILDS to link early childhood, education and workforce data through the CDD and the MCI. The reports provided by these linkages enable to the ILDS Governing Board to use research driven analysis to answer questions about Illinois’s current and future education and workforce needs. Some examples of projects that have been undertaken through the ILDS include creating the first unduplicated count of children receiving publicly funded early childhood PreK and childcare services, identifying and reporting on high school students transitioning to community colleges in remedial education courses, and analyzing employment outcomes for career pathway participants. The specific data records provided by the LDS agencies to the ILDS to answer these questions are listed as follows:
- Illinois Board of Higher Education – Higher-education data records
- Illinois Community College Board – Post-secondary data records
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – Workforce training data records
- Illinois Department of Employment Security – Employment data records
- Illinois Department of Human Services – Early childhood data records
- Illinois State Board of Education – Early Childhood and K-12 data records
- Illinois Student Assistance Commission – Financial aid data records
 See ref. 11
 Northern Illinois University is a world-class, research-focused public institution http://www.niu.edu/index.shtml
 See ref. 11
ISBE 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 2009 and 2015 and was awarded three grants, the 2009 SLDS Grant, the 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant, and the 2015 SLDS Grant, for the purpose of developing the ILDS. The 2009 SLDS Grant awarded Illinois $8,999,956 for the purpose of developing the foundational components of the ILDS. This funding was used to pay for the various costs associated with developing a data system, including: personnel costs, travel costs, equipment costs, contractual costs, and indirect costs. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include:
- Establishing a State Education Data Advisory Group
- Developing an enterprise-wide data architecture
- Improving data quality through a system of data stewards and enhanced procedures for data auditing
- Developing an education enterprise warehouse
- Linking the ISBE-assigned unique student ID with postsecondary and employment data
- Using linked data from Illinois state agencies for research and evaluation purposes
The 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant awarded Illinois $11,869,819 for the purpose of developing and expanding the state agency data systems that provide data records to the ILDS. This funding was used to pay for the various costs associated with developing a data system, including: personnel costs, travel costs, equipment costs, contractual costs, and indirect costs. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include:
- Establishing a Statewide Transcript System for middle and high school students
- Integrating student-level data with teacher and administrator data
- Continuing expansion and development of postsecondary education data systems
- Developing and implementing an Early Childhood Data Collection System
The 2015 SDLS Grant awarded Illinois $7,000,000 for the purpose of further developing and enhancing these supplementary data systems for the purpose of creating capabilities to conduct financial equity and returns analysis on investments into Illinois’s public education system. This funding will be used to pay for the various costs associated with developing a data system, including: personnel costs, travel costs, equipment costs, contractual costs, and indirect costs. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include:
- Financial Equity and Return on Investment (ROI) Developments
- Expanding the ISBE Data Warehouse to include critical systems necessary for analysis of fiscal equity and return on investment
- Establishing budgeting, accounting, data collection, and reporting systems for revenues and expenditures at the individual school and early childhood center level
- Integrating student, educator, and fiscal data to inform analysis of critical resource decisions and how resources are distributed across schools and students
- Utilizing expanded fiscal data in ISBE Data Warehouse and ILDS data for early childhood ROI research project and for high school to college success ROI research project
- Instructional Support Developments
- Standardizing data collection processes from local student information systems into the ISBE Student Information System
- Deploying a statewide Educator Single Sign-on (SSO) system
- Delivering comprehensive and quality Instructional Support Dashboard Suites
In addition, ILDS has utilized funding from Illinois’ Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge award and the Workforce Data Quality Initiative to support the ILDS.
 Information provided by the 2009 SLDS Grant Application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/state.asp?stateabbr=IL
 Information provided by the 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant Application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/state.asp?stateabbr=IL
 Information provided by the 2015 SLDS Grant Application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/state.asp?stateabbr=IL
The ILDS Governing Board has created a common data sharing agreement template that can be used for projects involving multiple ILDS agencies and a third-party organization. In addition, the ILDS agencies have begun the process of aligning their data request form questionnaires into a common form. These agencies are expected to finalize and publicize a common interagency data request form questionnaire in early 2017. These developments will significantly decrease the difficulties and inefficiencies of the data sharing process with third-party organizations. Access to specific ILDS agency’s data will still require consent from that ILDS agency’s separate processes and protocols but these processes and protocols should differ little from the common data sharing agreement template.
Public User Portal
The ILDS has its own website, www.illinoislds.org, and also uses other public portals to disseminate information such as the Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map and the Illinois Report Card. The Illinois Report Card portal, is operated for the purpose of providing useful aggregate level data about various education issues to interested parties within the state of Illinois. These parties include administrators, educators, policy makers, parents, students and other parties interested in education outcomes within the state of Illinois. The quality of these portals 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.
Illinois Report Card Evaluation:
- Illinois Report Card portal is straight forward to use, the home page of the portal explains the purpose of the portal and provides a brief overview of the reports it contains. The home page also contains a portal overview video, which further explains how the reports can aid parties interested in the state of Illinois’s public education. If portal users need further help understanding or accessing reports within the portal, the portal has a Help tab located in the home bar at the top of the home page. The Help tab links to an informative page that thoroughly explains the purpose of the portal and how to properly view reports located within the portal.
- Extent of data offered:
- The Illinois Report Card portal offers K-12 data reports on each district located within the K-12 public education system. These reports contain a significant amount of aggregate level information about each district within the following education categories: Snapshot Analysis, Academic Progress, District Environment, Students, Educators, and Schools in District. Each of these categories contain multiple sub-categories that provide information on specific factors pertinent to the main category. The portal also provides a comprehensive overview of the entire state of Illinois and its performance in these various categories.
- Self-sufficiency of the portal:
- The Illinois Report Card portal provides direct access to each of the education categories and sub-categories listed in the district and state reports. In addition to this information, the portal provides a link to ISBE online site, the agency that maintains the portal and the data from which its reports are generated
- Extent of customizable reports that can be created through the portal
- The Illinois Report Card portal allows interested parties to customize the reports available through the portal by district specification. In addition, interested parties can further customize the sub-categories located within the district reports to view specific variables. These specific variables span across a wide variety of subjects, including state and district comparisons, student demographics, trend rates and more. Once interested parties have designated which reports and variables they would like to view, the report is automatically generated on-site.
 Information for this section was provided through analysis of the Illinois Report Card portal https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/
The Illinois General Assembly enacted the Public Act 096-0107 into state law as the P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System Act, effective July 30, 2009. The Senate and House passed the act, and the Governor signed it, so that the state education agencies and other ILDS partners could follow students and their performance throughout their education experience and their subsequent labor market experiences. The P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System Act specifically outlines the purpose of the ILDS and designates each relevant state agency’s role in developing and expanding the ILDS. The act sets fixed deadlines for the ILDS’s progress and milestones starting from the enactment of the act to 2013. Importantly, it established clear authority for state education agencies to collect necessary information fort the ILDS, including providing new authority to the Illinois Board of Higher Education to collect student unit records from public and private post-secondary institutions. It also establishes that the ILDS will adhere to all state and federal laws related to education systems, student privacy requirements and appropriation of federally granted funds. 
 Information provided by the Illinois Public Act 096-0107 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/96/PDF/096-0107.pdf
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), 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, a set of elements and policy actions proposed to produce quality data systems and increase student achievement within in each state.
Illinois 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
Illinois has currently met 5 of the 10 state actions:
- State Action 2 – Create stable, sustainable support for longitudinal data systems
- State Action 3 – Develop governance structures for longitudinal data systems
- State Action 4 – Build state data repositories
- State Action 7 – Create reports with longitudinal statistics to guide system-level change
- State Action 8 – Develop a purposeful research agenda
Data Quality Campaign score: 5/10
It should be noted that the Data Quality Campaign assessed each state’s progress towards completing the state actions in 2014. At this time, Illinois had failed to meet the following state actions:
- State Action 1 – Link state K-12 data systems with early learning, postsecondary, workforce, and other critical state agency data systems
- State Action 5 – Provide timely, role-based access to data
- State Action 6 – Create progress reports with student-level data for educators, students, and parents
- 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
In 2016, Illinois has reported to have met State Action 1 and is in the process of meeting State Actions 5,6,9, and 10.
 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
 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
Illinois Board of Higher Education
Eric J Lichtenberger, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Information Management & Research
Illinois Community College Board
Senior Director for Research and Policy Studies
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Office of Employment and Training
Technology and Performance Interim Manager
Illinois Department of Employment Security
Assistant Director, Economic Information & Analysis Security Division
Illinois Department of Human Services
Assistant Director, Office of Innovation, Strategy and Performance
Illinois State Board of Education
Director, ILDS Project Management Office
Illinois Student Assistance Commission
Director, IT Department
This schematic is offered to provide a simplified, visual presentation of the ILDS and the channels through which data flows into and out of the SLDS. The entities on the far left side of the schematic represent the data record providers to the ILDS. The entities in the middle of the schematic represent the ILDS data warehouse and public user portal. The entities on the far right side of the schematic represent the parties intended to receive benefits from the outputs generated by the ILDS.
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.