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P-12 Education Committee


John B. King, Jr.


Timeline to Complete the P-20 Data System


July 14, 2010


Goals 1 and 2




Issue for Discussion

              The Department is engaged in a major, four-year reform and expansion of the P-12 data system. New leadership, a project team orientation that has combined expertise from the Department’s data units and its IT staff, and almost $48 million in additional funding from federal and state grants are enabling us to take the following actions:



In 2008, the Board of Regents entered into an agreement with the State University of New York, the City University of New York, and three of the largest school systems (New York City, Yonkers, and Syracuse) to create a P-16 data system.  In order to carry out that work, the Department’s data system was placed under new leadership 18 months ago, with a Project Team led by Alan Ray, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Policy, and David Walsh, Chief Information Officer. The Project Team consists of key staff from IT and from the P-12, special education, and higher education data offices. A new Data Director, Ken Wagner, was also recruited to help reform and expand the data system; the position had gone unfilled for almost two years before then.

The data system at that point collected basic demographic and state assessment data on each student (e.g., race and ethnicity, age, school attending, test scores, disability and English Language Learner status) and could track students throughout their P-12 schooling. But the amount of data collected was clearly too limited given the instructional needs of schools and the policy needs of the Board of Regents. Furthermore, the system was not user-friendly; school officials complained frequently about the infamous electronic “spinning cube” that caused long delays in reporting and verifying data. Data collection was therefore slow, and the Department missed federal deadlines in reporting school accountability and other results.

Therefore, the Project Team set out to accomplish two immediate goals:




Since then, the data system has been made much easier for schools to use, with new alternative reports to schools for data verification and new edit checks for accuracy. Data is collected and reported more quickly; last year, for the first time in six years, schools received accountability decisions before the start of school, as required by federal law. We are also going through a review of security and privacy procedures to ensure that the best state-of-the-art protections are in place; that work will also move forward as we expand the data system.

              Even more significantly, we have raised $27.5 million in competitive federal grants and $20.4 million in state capital funds – a total of $47.9 million. In 2009, the Department received $7.8 million in a national competition, to be used over four years. In May 2010, New York was ranked first in a 50-state competition for a second round of federal funding and received the largest grant made - $19.7 million, to be used over three years; New York’s application in fact received the highest score given throughout the four-year history of the federal competition. Also this year, the legislature and Governor agreed to provide $20.4 million in capital funds to expand the data system.

              With this new funding, work is now underway to carry out a major expansion of the data system, along with faster reports for data verification and a broad array of edit checks to improve data quality. Below is a list of key actions we are taking to create a true P-20 data system:

Deliverable 1: Collect Teacher and Course Data: Support for Growth Model and Performance Evaluations (Teachers, Principals, and Teacher/Principal Preparation Programs)

Description:  To assist both classroom instruction and the development of new methods for evaluating teachers, principals, and teacher/principal preparation programs, the data system will collect and report additional information on teachers and the courses they teach. 

Implementation Plan


Deliverable 2: P-12 and Higher Education Linkages


Description:  Linking the K-12 and higher education data systems will allow for richer longitudinal analyses and the identification of additional opportunities to improve educational programs and prepare students for college and careers. 

Implementation Plan


Deliverable 3: Electronic Student Transcripts

Description:  Electronic student transcripts will provide a standard and timely communication vehicle for students and those providing P-12 and higher education services.  In combination with Deliverable 2, these linkages and system improvements will produce an improved user experience. 

Deliverable 3 is dependent on the timelines outlined for Deliverables 1 and 2.  Additional target dates include the following. 

Implementation Plan


Deliverable 4: Early Warning System for At-Risk Students

Description:  The P-16 data system can provide information to help identify the students at risk of not completing educational programs. Schools can use this information to provide students with targeted assistance. 

Deliverable 4 is dependent on the timelines outlined for Deliverables 1 and 2.  Additional target dates include the following:

Implementation Plan


Deliverable 5:  P-20 Data System

Description:  Linking the P-16 data system to data maintained by other State agencies will allow for richer longitudinal analyses and the identification of additional opportunities to assist students and improve programs

Implementation Plan


Deliverable 6: Improve Data Quality and System Performance

Description:  We are working with our partners to make it easier to submit, review, and verify high quality data.  Data which are complete and accurate will provide teachers and other educational leaders with timely and actionable information to improve instruction and student learning. 

Implementation Plan




Reforming and Expanding the New York State Education Data System – $47.9 Million in Federal and State Grants





NYS Capital Funding

$7.8 MM

$19.7 MM

$20.4 MM

4 years /

June 1, 2009

3 years /

July 1, 2010

3 years /

September 1, 2010 (est.)

Improve the collection and reporting of required accountability data:


  • Improve data quality;
  • Improve data portal and reporting tools to benefit schools and districts.
  • Establish data management committees to facilitate communication with the field.


Expand the data system, improve collection of all data elements required in America Competes Act:


  • Establish significant support for statewide regional data centers (e.g., hardware, software licenses) to handle increase in data collection and improved data quality;
  • Collect basic teacher/course data;
  • Create initial linkages with SUNY/CUNY;
  • Collect basic higher education data;
  • Develop protocol for linkages with private colleges;
  • Develop initial linkages with other State agencies (e.g., workforce, children and family services);
  • Plan for instructional improvement system.
  • Plan for early warning system to help at-risk students.
  • Collect other key data elements: (e.g., attendance, suspension, additional ELL data).


Maintain and expand data collection to create a true P-20 Data System:


  • Expand data system infrastructure to collect and report additional data (student attendance, disruptive incidents);
  • Expand teacher/course data
  • Create electronic student transcript (K-12 through college);
  • Expand SUNY/CUNY data systems;
  • Fully integrate linkages with SUNY/CUNY
  • Expand unique student identifier system to link with multiple data systems (e.g., workforce, children and family services);
  • Based on expanded data collection, develop early warning reporting system to help students not on track, at risk dropping out.