The following profile is a representation of the Washington 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 WSP-20W Dashboard WSP-20W Website NCES Funding:


The Washington State P-20W system (WSP-20W)[1] is Washington’s public education state longitudinal data system (SLDS)[2], managed by the Washington State Education Research and Data Center (ERDC)[3]. The WSP-20W, created for the purpose of collecting and analyzing Washington public education data at the individual, course, institution, and system levels, receives data from state education agencies, public higher education institutions and state workforce agencies and aggregates these data records into a comprehensive, robust longitudinal data system. The creation of the WSP-20W is part of a nation-wide effort to collect education data and subsequent workforce outcomes in order to study the student 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.

Washington 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 Washington State P-20W Data System is managed by the Washington State Educational Research and Data Center for the purpose of collecting and analyzing P-20W individual student level data
[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 Washington State Education Research and Data Center develops longitudinal information spanning the P-20W system in order to facilitate analyses, provide meaningful reports collaborate on education research, and share data http://www.erdc.wa.gov/about-us/vision-mission-and-values
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Evaluation Criteria

This review assesses the overall quality of the WSP-20W 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 system’s 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 will conclude with a visual schematic to model the ESP-20 system and contact information of the overseers of the data system.

[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 WSP-20W is maintained by the ERDC, a state department located within the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM)[1]. The ERDC compiles and analyzes individual student level data about Washington students as they move through their education process and into the labor force. The ERDC collaborates with a multitude of education and workforce partners to obtain these data records, and aggregates these data records into a unified, comprehensive longitudinal data system. The ERDC has a mandate to use this system to conduct analyses of P-20W data and make these cross-sector data -analyses available to all partners that contribute data records. The ERDC is also mandated to provide information that helps students, parents, teachers, administrators and public policy makers make decisions that improve student learning and workforce outcomes.

The ERDC maintains the WSP-20W data warehouse and leads data governance for the WSP-20W, the determination of how data within the warehouse received from multiple partners will be shared. The ERDC works with each of the partners that contributes data to the WSP-20W to ensure that there is agreement between all parties on how, when and what data can be shared. The ERDC also is tasked with creating data interoperability between the various data streams that are input into the WSP-20W data warehouse, a necessity to the development of an efficient and effective longitudinal data system.

[1] The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) provides vital information, fiscal services and policy support to the state agencies and public officials of Washington http://www.ofm.wa.gov/about/default.asp
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Data Providers

The ERDC receives data records from the following agencies and institutions:

  • Department of Early Learning (DEL) – Early Childhood data
  • Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) – K-12 data
  • Washington Student Achievement Council – Financial aid data
  • State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) – Community and Technical College data
  • Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, University of Washington, Washington State University, Western Washington University – Four-Year institution data
  • Employment Security Department (ESD) – Unemployment Insurance wage data
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The Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), in partnership with the ERDC, applied for federal funding through the Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grant Program administered by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), an agency of the United States Department of Education, in 2009 and 2015. IES awarded Washington two grants, the 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant and the 2015 SLDS Grant, for the purpose of developing and expanding the WSP-20W.

The 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant awarded Washington $17,341,871 for the purpose of increasing the WSP-20W capabilities and accelerating progress in key development areas. The proposed outcomes of the 2009 ARRA SLDS Grant are as follows:[1]

  • Establish data governance agreements outlining when, how, and what data can be shared to generate a clear process that will accelerate the ability to share linked individual-level data while also protecting individuals’ privacy.
  • Create research and reporting products to inform policy decisions through briefs, local level reports that track student outcomes and achievements, and research data sets. Improve the timeliness of the information produced and usability of the data.
  • Efficiently generate research datasets and summary information and to help ensure data quality by constructing of a structured P-20 data environment, which will include a data inventory spanning systems, the development of a P-20 data dictionary, and the implementation of a data warehouse with a variety of data marts designed to support research and reporting.
  • Establish interoperability to facilitate the efficient and standardized exchange of data between ESP-20 and contributing data systems.
  • Improve the quality of data coming in to ESP-20 and strengthen systems that contribute data to ESP-20 by enhancing the community and technical college data system, the higher education program database, early learning student information, and private vocational school information.

The 2015 SLDS Grant awarded Washington $6,992,452 to enhance the capabilities of the WSP-20W. The proposed outcomes of the 2015 SLDS Grant are as follows: [2]

  • College and Career
    • ERDC (Education Research and Data Center) will carry out a variety of analysis and research activities involving (1) studying outcomes for juvenile justice participants; (2) incorporating financial aid data; (3) studying P20W transitions; (4) expanding existing data coaching activities to include P20W; (5) expanding existing P20W feedback reports.
  • Evaluation and Research
    • ERDC will (1) conduct analysis and research of educational and workforce outcomes involving early learning participants and social service clients; (2) evaluate interventions at low-income K12 schools; (3) perform a cross-cutting data gap analysis

In addition to the federal grant awards, the ERDC receives state funding to employee several full-time employees.

[1] Information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/state.asp?stateabbr=WA
[2] Information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/state.asp?stateabbr=WA
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Research Accommodation

The ERDC has established a standardized data request process to ensure that that data requests have met all security requirements before obtaining access to de-identified data.  Interested parties are required to submit a data request form to the ERDC and review the ERDC’s data sharing agreement template[1], which establishes the purpose of the data request and identifies all data sharing agreements that the data requester must agree to. If the request receives approval, the ERDC will send the request to the relevant data contributors, explaining the study questions the request wishes to answer and the data needed to perform the necessary analysis. The relevant data contributors then have five days to review the request and respond to the requester, with suggestions about relevant research or data necessary to answer the research questions.

Once all relevant data contributors have reviewed the data request, the data requester must submit an application for approval from the Washington State Institutional Review Board (WSIRB)[2]. If the WSIRB approves the application, the ERDC creates a data sharing agreement to share the linked, de-identified data with the requester. After the ERDC and the requester have signed the data sharing agreement, the ERDC sends the requested data to the requester. The requester is required to send a draft report to the ERDC. This report is sent to all relevant partners, who then have ten days to review the report and respond to the requester with comments about the use of their data. When this entire process is complete, the requester had permission to release their report. [3]

[1] Data Sharing Agreement template created by ERDC to establish data governance
[2] The Washington State Institutional Review Board is responsible for the review and approval of all research activities involving human subjects
[3] Information pertaining to data request process obtained from ERDC’s online site http://www.erdc.wa.gov/request-data/data-request-process
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Public User Portal

The ERDC has established a public user portal for the purpose of providing useful aggregate level data about education and workforce outcomes to interested parties within the state of Washington. The more accessible of the public user portals can be found on the ERDC’s online site, located within the Publications and Reports tab. This portal grants access to all publications and reports that have been produced using the WSP-20W, which address questions pertaining to early learning, secondary, post-secondary, higher education and labor force outcomes. Although this portal yields unique information about these various sectors, it does not grant the user the ability to generate reports using the WSP-20W data.

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In 2007, the Washington legislature passed statute 43.41.400. This statue established the ERDC and duties that the education data center will perform. This statute also established the state departments and institutions that will work in collaboration with the ERDC. [1]

[1] Information obtained from Washington statute 43.41.400 http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=43.41.400
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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.

Washington 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

Washington has currently met the following 7 state actions:

  • Linking state K-12 data systems with early learning, postsecondary, workforce, and other critical state agency data systems.
  • Create stable, sustained support for longitudinal data systems.
  • Developing governance structures to guide data collection and use.
  • Building state data repositories.
  • Creating reports with longitudinal statistics to guide system-level change.
  • Developing a purposeful research agenda.
  • Promoting strategies to raise awareness of available data.

Washington has failed to meet the following 3 state actions[3]:

  • Provide timely, role-based access to data.
    • Washington state policy does not ensure that teachers and parents have access to their students’ longitudinal data.
  • Creating progress reports with student-level data for educators, students, and parents.
    • Washington teachers have not tailored reports using student-level longitudinal data.
  • Implement policies and promote practices to build educator’s capacity to use data.
    • Data literacy is not a requirement for certification/licensure and data literacy is not a requirement for state program approval.

Washington’s DQC 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
[3] It should be noted that information provided by the DQC was collected in 2014, and it appears likely that Washington has met the requirements for the state action pertaining to the creation of progress reports with student-level data.
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Washington State Education Research and Data Center
210 11th Ave SW, Room 318
PO Box 43124
Olympia, WA 98504-3124
Phone: (360) 902-0599
Email: erdc@ofm.wa.gov

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This schematic is offered to provide a simplified, visual presentation of the WSP-20W  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 WSP-20W. The entities in the middle of the schematic represent the WSP-20W 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 WSP-20W.



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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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