WICHE's Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange (MLDE), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will build a system to exchange individual-level education and workforce data between at least 10 states. The project builds on previous work (also funded by the Gates Foundation) to share data between four states. The effort will help state policymakers and researchers answer important research questions about the development and mobility of human capital by linking education and employment outcomes across state lines.
This brief, which is part of a series of papers recently published by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, draws on the lessons from the Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange to identify how a broader state-to-state exchange could be established to help answer key questions about postsecondary education.
Among the key lessons summarized by the brief are that the very real barriers to establishing such an exchange are surmountable and these exchanges can produce real and actionable information for students and their parents as well as policymakers.
This brief condenses findings from two lengthier reports on the Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange, a project led by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). This brief discusses:
The process that led to the exchange of data among the four participating states, including the development of data sharing agreements and the governance structure employed by the project.
Some of the policy-relevant findings derived from the data produced during the exchange. The results from this initial pilot show that public policy can be better informed by incorporating data sources that take the mobility of individuals into account.
Beyond Borders: Understanding the Development and Mobility of Human Capital in an Age of Data-Driven Accountability
WICHE received funding for the project in July 2014. As the project develops, additional information and resources will be available on this page.