Among the many events that all of us are missing during this time of COVID, for some of us very important events like graduations and others we count on year over year. Normally, I would be spending this week at the STATS DC conference with many of you. I would be learning about the innovations and great work you are doing as well as the challenges that we are facing. And I would be presenting on some of the solutions we have developed with our clients. In the spirit of STATS DC, I am sharing my thoughts with you.

Not so long ago, this was an NCES initiative and a hot topic at STATS DC in 2010; 

“EDEN combines multiple, stove-piped, paper-based K-12 data collections into an Internet-based collection process, reducing state collection burdens. The EDEN repository makes data manageable as an enterprise resource and shareable across the Department, supporting data-driven decisions. As a result, EDEN’s more timely data facilitates formula grant payments, timely reporting, and data publication, often many months earlier than before.” 

(Note to EDEN: we have come a long, long way, my friend. As you have grown-up to become EdFacts we’ve seen you accomplish great things in advancing what’s possible with education data. Because good ideas lead to great outcomes, STATS DC has always been a source of inspiration and collaboration—a community with a shared vision and a common purpose.) 

So, since we cannot get together this year, I thought we might take a moment to share some of our work at UPD in education data. Today we’re working on CEDS and Generate and of course Ed-Fi. We are also working with the CEDS post-secondary committee to evaluate the elements needed for completing the build-out of the post-secondary CEDS domain. These workgroups are evaluating CEDS elements that appear in the K12 and Early Learning CEDS domains to determine whether (and how) they may be added to the post-secondary domain. 

We are working on providing durable state solutions for P-EBT. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted our ability to keep our students food-secure. UPD is helping states respond to the needs of their families in a sustainable manner. 

We are also working on Ed-Fi data-use projects with states and districts; working with higher education organizations to leverage the Teacher Preparation Data Model and the TPDM Dashboards. Our team has taken the time to get great with Agile. And to the team’s credit we are advancing integration solutions that until recently were just too complicated and expensive to even consider. Data governance undergirds all successful systems and data use projects. We will not achieve equity in education until we all become stewards of the data that informs our work.  

Systems interoperability based on common standards remain at the heart of our mission. While we are all still working to fully “achieve budget and performance integration to link funding decisions to results”, let’s remain determined to improve our common goals of better, faster, cleaner and more useful data. I look forward to being able to see each other at STATS-DC next year.