Redesigning Data Systems
Education Data Systems Study – LR 264
The One Hundred Third Legislature passed Legislative Resolution 264 whose purpose is stated as follows:
The purpose of this resolution is to examine the education data system. The study shall include an assessment of the adequacy of the current data system maintained by the State Department of Education to provide timely access to relevant and accurate data to meet various needs, including information for teachers in public schools about student achievement in their classrooms, objective research regarding educational practices, data for policy formation and review, and accountability to the public regarding the performance of the public schools.
The study contained in this document was developed in response to LR 264 to include, but not be limited to, the following topics:
1. The costs of the data system;
2. Legislative access and public access to the department’s data system;
3. The role and inter-relationships between the Nebraska Student and Staff Record System, the Consolidated Data System, the State of the Schools Report, and the Statewide Longitudinal Data System as developed pursuant to federal grant funding;
4. Timeliness and access to financial information related to school spending, budgets, taxes, and state aid;
5. Adequacy of school staff data in the Nebraska Student and Staff Record System in relation to teacher and classified staff qualifications, assignments, degree level, college credits, and experience; and
6. Any other issue related to the education data system that the study committee deems important.
The Commissioner of Education, Dr. Matt Blomstedt, further directed that, based upon the assessment of the current data system, the study make specific recommendations and propose a high-level one, three and five year plan to improve, upgrade, and modernize the Nebraska Education Data System to meet the needs of Nebraska’s public education system.
The study of Nebraska education data systems gathered information on three types of systems (Teaching and Learning, Administrative, and Back Office) as well as the cost and effort associated with data and accountability submissions. Superintendents and technology educators were invited to participate in a survey of system availability and importance. The Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA) recommended district leaders to participate in virtual focus groups on each system type. The NCSA also recommended district financial personnel to participate in individual interviews detailing the cost associated with education systems and data submission in their districts. Specific briefings and interviews were held with NCSA, the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA), the Education Service Unit Coordinating Council (ESUCC), and Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) leaders. Over 200 education leaders in Nebraska participated in the study.