Tennessee

The following profile is a representation of the Tennessee 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 Maintenance Stakeholders
Funding Researcher Access Public User Portal Legal Statues
DQC NCES Schematic State Response
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Download State Profile TLDS Dashboard TLDS Website NCES Funding:
2006   2015

Introduction

The Measure Tennessee Longitudinal Data System (TLDS[1]) is Tennessee’s public education state longitudinal data system (SLDS)[2] governed by the Tennessee Department of Education (TDE). The TLDS, created for the purpose of collecting and analyzing Tennessee public education data at the individual, course, institution, and system levels, aggregates data records from the breadth of the Tennessee 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 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.

Tennessee 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.

This review assesses the overall quality of the TLDS 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)[3] ranking. This report considers each of these criteria pertaining to TLDS and provides contact information to the departments and individuals who maintain and manage the SLDS.

[1] The Measure Tennessee Longitudinal Data System securely links and de-identifies education and workforce information. Information from this data system may be to accessed through the following online dashboard. http://launchmycareertn.org/

[2] 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

[3] 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/

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Evaluation Criteria

This review assesses the overall quality of the TLDS 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)[1] ranking. This report considers each of these criteria pertaining to TLDS and provides contact information to the departments and individuals who maintain and manage the SLDS.

[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 http://dataqualitycampaign.org/
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Maintenance

 

The TLDS is governed by the Tennessee Data Management Committee (TDMC)[1], a committee comprised of the representatives from the stage departments and public education insitutions that provides guidance to the Tennessee Department of Education (TDE) which maintains the TLDS. The TDMC was formally created by the Tennessee legislative body in 2005. Its purpose is to coordinate the educational efforts of publicly-funded programs and initiatives through the Tennessee public secondary and post-secondary education systems. The council forms partnerships among groups working to improve the state’s public education systems and makes recommendations to the relevant state agencies to ensure a seamless education system for Tennessee’s students.

The TDMC monitors the TLDS to ensure that data sharing between the state agencies who provide data records to the TLDS is conducted securely and responsibly. It also ensures that the data records within the TLDS are collected, stored and analyzed in processes compliant with FERPA, HIPAA, state and other federal laws pertaining to public student information.

[1] Information obtained from 2006 Tennessee SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Tennessee2006.pdf

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Stakeholders

The TLDS receives data records from the Tennessee Department of Education (TDE) and the public higher education institutions that participate on the TDMC[1]. These state agencies and institutions provide data records through their in-house data systems which were built prior to the creation of the TLDS. The data records provided by these state agents allows the TLDS to link secondary and postsecondary education outcomes within the state of Tennessee. The reports provided by these linkages enable the state agencies to analyze and evaluate the performance and outcomes of their education programs, initiatives, and services.

The TLDS receives K-12 student data records from the TDE which collects data from every public secondary education institution in TLDS. These data records contain information about Tennessee students, educators and school systems. The student data records provide information about student demographics, performance evaluations, assessment scores, enrollment records, graduation and dropout rates. The TLDS receives early childhood data records from the Tennessee Department of Early Learning (TDEL), an office within the TDE. These early childhood data records information about education and development assessments. The TLDS receives higher education data records from the public higher education institutions who participate on the TDMC. These higher education data records contain information about student enrollment, courses, performance, demographics and graduation rates.

[1] Information provided by the Workforce Quality Campaign

Information obtained from 2006 Tennessee SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Tennessee2006.pdf

 

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Funding

The TDE 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 2015 and was awarded 2006 and 2015 SLDS grants. The 2006 SLDS Grant awarded Tennessee $3,226,313 for the purpose of developing the TLDS. 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:[1]

  • Create the necessary foundation for successfully managed data. This foundation includes policy, clearly defined responsibilities, a single agency-wide data dictionary, a data inventory, data standards, a logical design for a comprehensive data architecture and a first step toward expanding the existing operation data store to include additional key student demographic data
  • Acquire and implement a business intelligence reporting tool and develop an initial set of reports that represent the highest demand for information by the agency, legislature, community, schools and districts
  • Acquire and implement a data warehouse and set of ETL and/or School Interoperability Framework tools to facilitate data extraction, translation, sharing, integration, and loading. The purpose of the data warehouse is to archive data from various TDE operational data stores and to further facilitate longitudinal data analysis.

The 2015 SLDS Grant awarded Tennessee $6,917,059 for the purpose of further developing the TLDS. This funding was used to pay for the various costs associated with developing a data system, including: personnel costs, travel costs, equipment expenses, contractual costs, and indirect expenses. The proposed outcomes to be produced using this funding include:[2]

  • College and Career Outcomes
    • Integrate the TLDS into a robust student portal
    • Develop and disseminate statewide postsecondary access and success strategies
    • Conduct research on effective, replicable interventions in facilitating student transition from secondary to postsecondary.
  • Educator Talent Management Outcomes
    • Develop an EPP (Education Preparation Provider) Portal to generate metrics for EPP annual report
    • Conduct program design research, EPP improvement tools and intervention development
    • Research the effects of the portal, tools and interventions on EPP quality and educator supply

[1] Information obtained from 2006 Tennessee SLDS Grant application https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/Tennessee2006.pdf

[2] Information obtained from the 2015 Tennessee SLDS Grant abstract https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/TN_FY15_Abstract.pdf

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Research Accommodation

The TDE requires researchers working outside the Tennessee public education system to complete an external data request form. This external data request must contain the following information:

  • Contact information
    • Name
    • Organization
    • Email and Phone Number
  • Data description
    • How will the data be used?
    • What is the preferred format for receiving data?
    • Describe the requested data
  • Security plan
    • Description of the procedure that will be uses to protect confidentiality of individuals

External data requests will be sent to the TDDE’s External Data Request Committee (EDRC) for review and decision. This committee meets once a month to review data requests. Outside researchers will be notified of the committee’s decision within three to five business days. Due to limited resources, the NDDE require up to forty-five days to provide data for approved data requests.

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Public User Portal

The TDE provides public education data records on its website for public use through the LaunchMyCareer portal. [1]. This information provides useful aggregate level data about various education issues to interest parties within the state of Tennessee. These parties include administrators, educators, policy makers, parents, students and other parties interested in education outcomes within the state of Tennessee. The quality of these information will be evaluated using several different criteria which include: the user-friendliness of the web-page, the extent of data offered by the web-page, whether the web-page is self-sufficient or relies upon other webpages to provide information, and the extent of customizable reports that can be created using the webpage.

  • User-friendliness:
    • The website clearly explains it purpose to the user, including why the portal was originally built and what the portal is intended to provide to users. It also provides users helpful instructions on how to navigate through the portal

 

  • Extent of data offered:
    • The website provides district and school profile information on every school in the Tennessee public education system. These profiles contain information on student enrollment, staff composition, courses offered, student demographics, graduation and dropout rates. The website also provides annual reports on Tennessee’s overall public education system, specialty reports on specific education topics and questions, and employment reports which show the outcomes of education initiatives in the state.

 

  • Self-sufficiency of the portal:
    • The website provides direct access to the information and reports listed on the site.

 

  • Extent of customizable reports that can be created through the website:
    • The website allows interested parties to customize the reports available through the website by district and school specification. In addition, interested parties can further customize reports through sub-categories such as Major Interest, Job Interest, School Interest, and Industry Interest.

[1] Information obtained from assessment of the LaunchMyCareer online portal. http://launchmycareertn.org/

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In 2012, the Tennessee House of Representatives introducing House Bill 212 which allowed sharing of data between state agencies for required evaluation imposed by state or federal law. It also allowed sharing of data for research questions approved by the Tennessee P-20 Council.

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DQC

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.

Tennessee 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

Tennessee has currently met 7 of the 10 state actions:

  • 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 9 – Implement policies and promote practices to build educators’ capacity to use data
  • State Action 10 – Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data

Tennessee has currently not met 3 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 5 – Provide timely, role-based access to data

Data Quality Campaign score: 7/10

[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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NCES

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Schematic

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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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