Facilitating Development of a Multi-State Longitudinal Data Exchange

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Fostering Collaborative State-Level Education and Workforce Database Development

December 15‐17, 2008 – Boulder, Colorado





5:30 – 6:15pm


6:15 – 8:00pm


Setting the Stage — [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ] David Longanecker’s brief presentation will address the goals and agenda for the activities of the next day‐and‐a‐half. He will discuss how inadequate data severely hinders our ability to answer legitimate public policy questions. He will also outline the serious impediments to constructing and using really robust data systems that could be instrumental in designing more effective public policies.

Speaker: David A. Longanecker, President, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)



8:00 – 8:45am

Continental Breakfast available

8:45 – 9:45am

Building on Existing Momentum — [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ] The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has been doing seminal work in helping states develop longitudinal data systems. A representative from the DQC will provide a brief overview of their activities, including what they can identify as best practices, and discuss the issues that are central to matching P‐12 and postsecondary education data.

Speaker: Aimee Guidera, Executive Director, Data Quality Campaign

10:00 – 11:15am

Mythbusting: Fact and Fiction in Legal Privacy Protections — [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ] Perhaps the largest barrier to the development of longitudinal data systems is perceived legal prohibitions, especially those based on interpretations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA – and the way that it has been administered by the U.S. Department of Education – has had a significant chilling effect on the development and implementation of robust longitudinal data systems. A lack of common understanding of what is permissible under FERPA; a fear of non‐compliance; and widely‐varying state attorneys general opinions regarding FERPA in the aggregate have created a significant barrier to state‐level sharing of student data for important and legitimate educational purposes.

This session will feature an attorney who has taken the lead, working with the Data Quality Campaign, to provide reasonable interpretations of FERPA and
to dispel the mythology surrounding FERPA. He will discuss how to balance privacy and other educational concerns that require use of data, how to fashion a longitudinal data system that complies with FERPA, and the challenges that remain.

Speaker: Steve Winnick, Senior Counsel, EducationCounsel LLC

11:15am – 12:00pm

Small Group Conversations — Participants are invited to gather in small groups (either within states or across states) to discuss the specific issues they face related to privacy. What are the key issues? What are the sources of obstacles? What further questions regarding confidentiality need to be addressed in light of Steve Winnick’s presentation?

12:00 – 1:00pm


1:00 – 2:15pm

Gathering Up the Building Blocks — [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ] It makes no sense to expend the political capital, resources, and considerable effort it will take to build data systems that turn out to be of little use in leading to improved public policymaking or in creating more effective accountability systems. Led by two experts who have been instrumental in helping states build greater database capacity, this session will cover the elements that are necessary for an integrated education and workforce data system that can deliver on its promises.


  • Peter Ewell, Vice President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)

  • Hans P. L’Orange, Vice President for Research and Information Resources and Director of the SHEEO/NCES Network, State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)

2:15 – 3:15pm

Tapping Into the Potential — A robust statewide data system that incorporates workforce data holds tremendous potential for building evidence‐based practices. Hear from two states that have used linked education and workforce data in effective ways.


  • Jeff Sellers, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Florida Department of Education [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ]

  • Loretta Seppanen, Director of Research and Analysis, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ]

3:30 – 5:00pm

Facilitated Conversations — Each participating state will have the opportunity to engage in a facilitated conversation about how to progress this agenda, with the goal being that state teams will leave with a strong sense of• the agreed‐upon needs of the state for an integrated database.

  • the impediments that must be overcome.

  • the strategy for moving forward

  • the timeline for action on the “next steps.”

This conversation will hopefully continue into the evening and the following day.


Dinner in Small Groups

Participants are encouraged to gather for dinner at local restaurants. WICHE will facilitate transportation to and from dinner.



8:00 – 9:00am

Continental breakfast available

9:00 – 10:15am

Lessons From Around the Region — States are at various stages in the development of data systems and have evolved different solutions to similar problems. This session will provide a glimpse of some of the different approaches being taken by selected states. The discussion will also touch on the possibility of developing a region‐wide solution to data sharing, which has benefits that transcend state boundaries.

Moderator: Paul Lingenfelter, President, SHEEO


  • Deb Came, Senior Analyst, Education Research and Data Center, Office of Financial Management, State of Washington [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ]

  • Julie Carnahan, Chief Academic Officer, Colorado Department of Higher Education [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ]

  • Tyler Weldon, Planning and Research Director, New Mexico Higher Education Department [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ]

10:15 – 10:45am

Break and hotel check‐out

10:45am – 12:00pm

Getting from Here to There: Addressing Lingering Questions and Taking Next Steps Toward a Robust Data System — What are the key steps in a process that will offer the best chance of success in building greater database capacity? The legal and regulatory context, in combination with the resource requirements and other considerations, can represent formidable barriers to action. The development of a fully integrated longitudinal data system may even require action from the state legislature at some point. What can states do now to move this project forward? What do states need to be doing to ensure success over the longer term? Does success require legislative change? If so, what can state leaders to do put such a project on the best footing for success in the statehouse? Participants will have a final chance during this meeting to get speak with the experts and one another in this moderated session.


  • David A. Longanecker, President, WICHE


  • Aimee Guidera, Executive Director, DQC [ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ]

  • Peter Ewell, Vice President, NCHEMS

  • Steve Winnick, Senior Counsel, EducationCounsel LLC

12:00 – 12:15pm

Concluding Remarks and Follow‐Up Activities

Speaker: David Longanecker, President, WICHE


Adjourn (Box Lunches will be available)