One of the Obama Administration's major education initiatives is to encourage states to improve the collection and use of student data from early childhood programs through post secondary schools. Both the Race to the Top and Investing in Innovations competitions, made possible by the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act, prioritized the improvement of data systems. That stimulus funding also boosted support for the federal State Longitudinal Data System grant program.
The most recent round of funding included a requirement for states to explain how they planned to incorporate and use early childhood data.
Pennsylvania is one of the standout states when it comes to collecting and using early childhood data. What has contributed to Pennsylvania’s success?
To find out, we talked with Barbara Minzenberg, a gubernatorial appointee on Governor Tom Corbett’s Early Learning Council and professional co-chair of the statewide Early Learning Network. The Network advises on the development of the statewide data system to collect and analyze demographic and child outcome data.
Minzenberg discusses Pennsylvania’s early childhood data system, explains what the state’s plans are to expand and link early childhood information to the K-12 longitudinal data system and offers a advice to other states that are starting this work.