Source: New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY New Mexico initiatives that address the development of a seamless data system from pre-kindergarten to the workforce
Student Identification Number • In 2003, the New Mexico Legislature passed and the Governor signed comprehensive education reform legislation that included a provision requiring the Public Education Department to issue a state identification (ID) number for each public school student as part of the state’s assessment and accountability system. In the 2004 interim, the Public Education Department reported that a web-based application for the student ID system had been completed that allows selected school personnel, district coordinators, and Public Education Department administrators to search for a student using an ID number issued by the Public Education Department or any combination of first or last name and date of birth. The Public Education Department testimony also cited two reasons that a student ID system is necessary: (1) to provide accurate data for the state’s Accountability Data System at the Public Education Department concerning student performance and status throughout the student’s educational career; and (2) to comply with accountability requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). • In 2007, legislation was enacted that requires the Higher Education Department to use the Public Education Department student identification number for students enrolled in higher education in order to facilitate longitudinal research regarding factors that influence the success of students in the P-20 system in New Mexico. In the 2007 interim, Legislative Education Study Committee staff will examine the implementation of a student identification (ID) number common to both the Public Education Department and the Higher Education Department to determine if the student ID will allow student assessment data to be interfaced with teacher data to assess student and teacher performance and enhance the P-20 initiative.
Implementation of Data Warehouse at Public Education Department
In 2005 legislation was enacted to establish a comprehensive data warehouse at the Public Education Department to begin to collect and to store student, teacher, course, testing, and financial data into one comprehensive system. Together with the requirement for the conversion to a uniform public school chart of accounts, the data warehouse should provide the state with accurate, consistent, and reliable data to assist in the decision-making process. In the 2006 interim, the Public Education Department reported that the department had completed phase one (design and development) of the data warehouse project, or
the Student Teacher Accountability Reporting System (STARS). Phase two (enhanced district reporting sand support) was completed during the 2007 legislative session. Public Education Department staff emphasized that with the completion of these two phases, eight of the 10 elements that are essential in a longitudinal data system have been implemented in STARS: (1) a unique statewide student identifier; (2) student-level enrollment; (3) the ability to match individual student test records from year to year to measure academic growth; (4) information on untested students; (5) a teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students; (6) student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and grades earned; (7) student-level graduation and dropout data; and (8) a state data audit system assessing data quality, validity, and reliability. Phase three of the project, they stated, should provide the system with element nine – the ability to match student records between pre-kindergarten through grade 12 and between grade 12 and the postsecondary institutions. The implementation of element 10 – student-level college readiness test scores – they reported, is yet to be determined. Approximately $11.1 million has been appropriated to the Public Education Department by the Legislature since 2005 to design and develop STARS in the department. In the 2007 interim, staff from the Legislative Education Study Committee and the Legislative Finance Committee will conduct a performance review of STARS, including the system’s implementation status, its data collection and reporting capabilities, and the reliability of the data, to determine whether STARS is a userfriendly tool that decision makers can use to examine education-related information essential in assessing student and school performance. Shared Data Systems • In 2006, the Legislature passed House Memorial 42, which requested that the Higher Education Department, representatives of institutions of higher education, the Public Education Department, representatives of public schools, the Children, Youth and Families Department, and the Office of Workforce Training and Development establish common, shared student data systems from pre-K to postsecondary levels of education, including adult basic education and training. Although the memorial did not request a report until November 1, 2007, the Legislative Education Study Committee included a progress report in its 2006 interim workplan. In November 2006, the Higher Education Department reviewed some of its activities, including the identification of current data sharing among the state agencies mentioned in the memorial, a discussion of policy and research issues, and the development of recommendations to continue the work of the task force through the 2007 interim. This testimony also included a funding request, most of it for professional services to provide for an assessment or inventory of the agencies’ datasharing capabilities. Among other points, committee discussion of this issue addressed (1) the challenges and merits of a common student identifier at the P-12 and postsecondary levels and (2) the need of the task force to narrow its focus to
higher education, particularly in terms of establishing a shared student data system for K-12 and postsecondary institutions, including a higher education identifier, before incorporating the other state agencies as requested by the memorial. • In 2007, legislation was enacted that requires the Public Education Department to collaborate with public teacher preparation programs and the Higher Education Department to create a uniform statewide teacher education accountability reporting system to measure and track teacher education candidates from pre-entry to postgraduation in order to benchmark the productivity and accountability of New Mexico’s teacher workforce, with annual reports from each institution and the Public Education Department to the Legislature, the Governor, other policymakers, and business and economic leaders by November 1 of each year.