The following profile is a representation of the Maryland 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.
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The Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MLDS) is Maryland’s public education state longitudinal data system (SLDS) managed by the MLDS Center, an independent unit of the Maryland state government. The MLDS, created for the purpose of collecting and analyzing Maryland’s public education data at the individual, course, institution, and system levels, links data records from the breadth of the Maryland public education 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 the 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.
Maryland 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 purpose of the Maryland Longitudinal Data System is to generate timely and accurate information about student performance that can be used to improve Maryland’s education system and guide decision makers at all levels https://mldscenter.maryland.gov/Aboutus.html
 State longitudinal data systems are intended to enhance the ability of states to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, and use education data nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/about_SLDS.asp
This review assesses the overall quality of the MLDS 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 MLDS 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
MLDS is governed by the MLDS Governing Board, an oversite committee comprised of leading government and education officials in the state of Maryland. The MLDS Governing Board has 12 members, seven of which are designated by the state legislature and five of which are appointed by the Governor. The seven board members designated by statute include:
- Chancellor of the University System
- State Superintendent of Schools
- Secretary of Higher Education
- Secretary of Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation
- President of Morgan State University
- Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges
- President of the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association
The five board members appointed by the Governor currently include:
- Jack R. Smith, Ph.D., Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools
- Steven Rizzi, Ph.D., Vice President of PAR Government, and large data system and data security expert
- J. Brooks, Esquire, Privacy Analyst, United States Department of Health and Human Services
- Christopher J. Biggs, Information Assurance Manager, Raytheon Company
- Scot Tingle, Ed.D., Assistant Principal, Snow Hill High School
The MLDS Center manages the MLDS as an independent unit of the Maryland state government. The Center has fifteen full and part-time employees and a partnership with the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland provides research services and houses the Center’s headquarters. The Center receives its primary source of funding through the Maryland state government, as well as additional funding from federal grants.
The Center is assigned the following responsibilities by the Maryland legislature:
- Serve as a central repository of student data and workforce data
- Oversee and maintain the data system
- Ensure compliance with the federal Family Educational Privacy Act (FERPA) and other relevant privacy laws and policies
- Design, implement, and maintain strict system security procedures
- Conduct research pursuant to the MLDS Governing Board’s research agenda
- Maintain a public facing website and data portal
- Fulfill public information requests
 Information obtained from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center’s online site https://mldscenter.maryland.gov/Governance.html
 Information obtained from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center’s online site https://mldscenter.maryland.gov/Governance.html
The Center partners with the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR), and the University of Maryland to accomplish its state-assigned responsibilities. These state agencies provide the following data records to the MLDS:
- Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) – K-12 data records
- Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) – Higher-Ed data records
- Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) – Workforce data records
These agencies each share an employee with the MLDS Center. These shared employees spend half of their time conducting MLDS work and the other half of their time conducting work for their respective agencies. This shared model was developed to ensure collaboration and communication between the MLDS Center and its partners who provide data records to the MLDS. The MSDE also provides additional support to the MLDS Center including office space, fiscal and personal management, and hosting of the MLDS within its in-house data center.
The MLDS was developed prior to the creation of the MLDS Center. The MLDS was originally supported by federal grant money and built primarily by independent contractors. Since its creation, the Center has taken over development and maintenance of the data system. The Center reports to two advisory boards, the Data Governance Advisory Board and the Research and Policy Advisory Board, to ensure that it meets the standards and needs of MLDS stakeholders.
The Data Governance Advisory Board was created by the state legislature’s Data Security and Safeguarding Plan. This board includes a data steward from each state agency involved with the MLDS as well as the chief officers of the MLDS Center. The roles and responsibilities of the Data Governance Advisory Board are as follows:
- Review the data inventory and collection schedule of the MLDS
- Monitor data quality, including to inform MLDS Center staff of data limitations, identify potential differences between the uses of data, and review new data portals
- Identify data gaps and analyze whether additional data collections are needed
- Identify stakeholders and establish decision rights and accountability
- Provide security oversight, including to review the implementation of and compliance with the Data Security and Safeguarding Plan
- Help align initiatives by ensuring data collected are sufficient to meet research needs
- Ensure data is used and maintained consistent with state and federal laws, regulations, and the Public Information Act
- Identify measures of success
The roles and responsibilities of the Research and Policy Advisory Board are as follows:
- Advise the MLDS Center staff on the research agenda, research plans, and prioritization
- Hear from outside entities proposing additions to the research agenda
- Comment on research output, web portals, and other reports created by the MLDS Center
- Provide input on public communications and governance issues
- Advise the MLDS Center on grant opportunities and possible partnerships
 Information obtained from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center’s online site https://mldscenter.maryland.gov/Aboutus.html
 Information obtained from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center’s online site https://mldscenter.maryland.gov/Aboutus.htm
The MLDS Center receives annual funding from the Maryland state government to operate and maintain the MLDS. In addition to these state-provided funds, the MSDE 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, 2009, 2012 and 2015. Maryland was awarded four grants, the 2006 SLDS Grant, 2009 SLDS Grant, the 2012 SLDS Grant and the 2015 SLDS Grant for the purpose of developing and enhancing its state longitudinal data system. The 2006 SLDS Grant awarded Maryland $5,690,718 for the purpose of building the foundational components of MLDS. This funding was used for the various costs associated with developing a data system, including: travel costs, equipment costs, supplies costs, contractual costs, and indirect costs. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include: 
- Analyze business, decision-making, and research needs of key stakeholders
- Catalog current and planned local data collection methods and data structures
- Design, develop, and implement the MLDS architecture
- Identify research and decision-making needs of key stakeholders.
- Develop a robust quality assurance system.
- Create the logical relationships between data systems.
- Implement confidentiality processes in compliance with Federal, State and FERPA requirements.
- Develop a pilot structure to enable researchers and decision-makers to mine special education data for time-based analysis.
- Design the system architecture using methodologies so that it can be modified and expanded over time.
The 2009 SLDS Grant awarded Maryland $5,990,186 for the purpose of further expanding the capabilities of MLDS. This funding was used to pay for the various costs associated with the development of a data system, which include: travel costs, equipment costs, supplies costs, contractual costs, and indirect costs. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include: 
- Plan MLDS Project
- Develop MLDS Strategic Plan
- Develop Plans for Project Objectives
- Manage MLDS Program
- Manage RFP Process
- Plan MLDS RFP
- Draft and Post RFP
- Management Procurement
- Manage SLDS Grant
- Plan, Track, and Report MLDS Projects
- Evaluate MLDS Enhancements
- Manage RFP Process
The 2012 SLDS Grant awarded Maryland $3,963,473 for the purpose of further expanding the capabilities of MLDS. This funding was used to pay for the various costs associated with the development of a data system, which include: travel costs, equipment costs, supplies costs, contractual costs, and indirect costs. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include: 
- Expand the data collections of the MLDS
- Implement data standards and improve data quality
- Create advanced dashboards for policy decision makers
- Provide LSDS training and professional development for policy decision makers
- Conduct research in using and expanding SLDS data
The 2015 SLDS Grant awarded Maryland $6,990,361 for the purpose of further expanding the capabilities of MLDS. funding was used to pay for the various costs associated with the development of a data system, which include: travel costs, equipment costs, supplies costs, contractual costs, and indirect costs. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include:
- Evaluation and research
- Improve accessibility of data for research and evaluation
- Build capacity to conduct research and evaluation
- Instructional support
- Inform instructional and program improvements
- Enhance the longitudinal data system to support instruction
- Build capacity for Early Learning Instructional Support
- Build dashboards to support postsecondary instructional program decisions
 Information obtained from the Maryland 2006 SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Maryland2006.pdf
 Information obtained from the Maryland 2009 SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Maryland2009.pdf
 Information obtained from the Maryland 2012 SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Maryland2012.pdf
 Information obtained from the Maryland 2015 SLDS Grant abstract https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/MD_FY15_Abstract.pdf
Outside researchers interested in analyzing data contained in the MLDS must submit a data request form the MLDS Center. This data request must contain the following information:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Email address
- General affiliation
- Specific organization
- Identification of which sector is requested
- Description of the data request
 Information obtained from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center https://docs.google.com/a/ugrowthfund.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScPdD5jTajflk4IczOm405Bmx32AnCgFdkFFx4O90nnKxX7xw/viewform?embedded=true
Public User Portal
The MLDS Center has created a public user portal for MLDS. The portal puts data about Maryland’s schools in a centralized location which is easy to access and use. The public user portal provides aggregate level data about various education issues within Maryland relating to its students and education institutions. This portal is intended to provide the state’s education stakeholders include policy makers, administrators, educators, parents, students and other interested parties within Maryland. 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 made using the portal.
MLDS Public User Portal Evaluation:
- The portal is easily-accessible through the MLDS Center online site. The MLDS home page provides a comprehensive overview of each of the information sections provided within the portal. The portal is intuitive to use and easy to navigate. Users are provided a clear overview of the sections contained in the portal and are provided step by step instructions on how to use the tools in these sections.
- Extent of data offered:
- The portal provides reports about K-12, higher education and workforce outcomes for on each school district and county in the state of Maryland. Snapshots are provided about the overall education outcomes of the state in general and the amount of students that are moving onto higher education or post-secondary institutions. Publish research from the MLDS Center and its partners are listed on the portal as well.
- Self-sufficiency of the portal:
- The portal provides direct access to the district and school reports that can be generated within it. In addition to this, the portal provides access to all publish research conducted on data contained in the MLDS.
- Extent of customizable reports that can be created through the portal:
- The portal allows users to customize reports pertaining to the education of Maryland’s students. Reports may be customized by geographic locations such as school, district or county, demographic characteristics such as race, gender and cohort year, as well as by level of education received and other education outcome information.
 This evaluation was conducted through analysis of the MDLS portal https://mldscenter.maryland.gov/Research&Reporting.html
In 2010, the Maryland legislature passed statute 24-702, which officially established the Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MLDS). This bill states:
“The Maryland Longitudinal Data System is a statewide data system that contains individual-level student data and workforce data from all levels of education and the State’s workforce.” (S24-702)
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.
Maryland 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
Maryland has currently met 8 of the 10 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 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 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 10 – Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data
Maryland has currently not met 2 of the 10 state actions:
- State Action 5 – Provide timely, role-based access to data
- State Action 9 – Implement policies and promote practices to build educators’ capacity to use data
Data Quality Campaign score: 8/10
 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
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.