SPRINGFIELD — The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has awarded the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) a $7 million grant to develop its Illinois Statewide Longitudinal P-20 Data System (SLDS).
The SLDS will help track the progress of Illinois students as they move from prekindergarten through postsecondary education and into the workforce. Over time, the data collected will provide an in-depth, comprehensive picture of individual students’ progress and, ultimately, will help policymakers decide where to invest time, energy, and resources to most effectively improve student achievement.
“The ability to collect and track data over the course of a child’s academic career and combine this information with data on teachers, school finances, higher education, employment, and so on is an incredibly valuable tool in our effort to provide each student a competitive and high-quality education,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Through this grant, SLDS will make this vital information accessible and easy to understand for educators so they can make well-informed decisions on how best to support a student’s learning and progress.”
ISBE continues to develop and implement the SLDS with the Office of the Governor and six other state agencies. The system was created in response to Public Act 96-0107 and a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education. The SLDS partner agencies plan to produce reports and research data sets in five areas of initial focus:
- Early childhood,
- High school to college success,
- Community college feedback,
- Career pathways, and
- College/career certificate completion.
Targeting advanced student achievement, the SLDS will provide an innovative technological solution that supports teachers, administrators, agency staff, parents, and policymakers by allowing them to make knowledgeable, efficient decisions based on first-class, standardized data.