|For Immediate Release|
|Friday, May 21, 2010|
|Contact:||Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106 or JC Considine 781-338-3112|
Gov. Patrick Announces Massachusetts Awarded $13 Million Data Systems Grant
Program Expanded To Address Early Ed, Postsecondary and Workforce Data Needs
BOSTON - Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Massachusetts a $13 million grant for the development of a statewide longitudinal data system designed to track student progress from early childhood through adult employment.
"I'm deeply grateful to the Obama administration for this support," said Governor Patrick. "These funds will advance our work to create a truly seamless education system, from pre-Kindergarten through college."
"We are very excited about this federal stimulus grant that will help measure student performance as we strive to close the achievement gap and improve the quality of our public education system in the Commonwealth," said Lt. Governor Timothy Murray.
The statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS) grants are funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Last year, Congress expanded the program to include not only K-12 data systems, but also provide links with pre-K, postsecondary, and workforce data, allowing states to match teachers to students while protecting student privacy and confidentiality consistent with applicable privacy protection laws.
The Massachusetts proposal called for an expansion of the state's Data Warehouse to provide all 80,000 of the Commonwealth's educators with access to more timely and comprehensive data on student performance. This will be used to target instruction to meet the individual needs of students and close performance gaps. This is the second year Massachusetts has been awarded an LDS grant; in 2009 the state was awarded $6 million.
"This grant will accelerate our efforts to monitor our students' progress as they move through public education," said Education Secretary Paul Reville. "By enhancing our data systems, we will greatly improve our ability to target support for the schools that need it, so all students can thrive and succeed in early education, K12 education, college and beyond."
"This is a great step forward for Massachusetts," said Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "Educators at all levels are going to be know more about what's working and what's not for their students, and that is going to translate into better educational opportunities for every student, from early education through higher education."
"This investment means better teaching and more help for students throughout Massachusetts," said Senator John Kerry.
"Measuring the progress of our students will help us ensure that public education in Massachusetts remains top-notch," said Rep. Edward Markey. "Our students must have access to the highest quality education in order to succeed at each stage of their lives. I am pleased that Massachusetts has obtained this funding to help achieve that goal."
"This Recovery Act funding will bolster state efforts to give teachers and school leaders real-time access to data that is necessary to improve student achievement and enhance Massachusetts' world-class education system," said Congressman John Tierney, the only member from Massachusetts on the House Education and Labor Committee. "It is critical that we do more to ensure that our children are receiving the best possible education."
"I have always believed that we need a comprehensive approach to how we educate our students," said Senator O'Leary (D-Barnstable) Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. "Having the ability to track student progress from kindergarten through college will help us to better adjust our education system to offer our children the best education possible. I applaud the federal government's use of ARRA funds to expand this program and their decision to award it to the Commonwealth."
"This grant is great news for the Commonwealth," said Representative Marty Walz, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. "With these systems we will be better able to understand our longitudinal data, which will help us make the best decisions to improve academic achievement in our schools."
State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grants were authorized by the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002 and the first grants were awarded in 2005. The 2009 ARRA grantees were selected in a competition based on the merit of the applicants' proposals and the funding available for the program. An independent peer review panel evaluated the proposals on aspects such as need for the project, project goals and outcomes, activities and timeline, management and governance, and personnel and financial resources. The process is independent from Race to the Top and was administered by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the Department of Education.
In total, $250 million was awarded this year through the SLDS grant competition. The full list of award winners is: Arkansas, $9.8 million; Colorado, $17.4 million; Florida, $10.0 million; Illinois, $11.9 million; Kansas, $9.1 million; Maine, $7.3 million; Massachusetts, $13.0 million; Michigan, $10.6 million; Minnesota, $12.4 million; Mississippi, $7.6 million; New York, $19.7 million; Ohio, $5.1 million; Oregon, $10.5 million; Pennsylvania, $14.3 million; South Carolina, $14.9 million; Texas, $18.2 million; Utah, $9.6 million; Virginia, $17.5 million; Washington, $17.3 million; Wisconsin, $13.8 million. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands applied.