KYSTATS was created in 2012 to expand upon the work of the Kentucky P-20 Data Collaborative, including maintaining the Kentucky Longitudinal Data System (KLDS), a statewide longitudinal data system that facilitates the integration of data from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. KYSTATS has the authority to collect and link data in order to evaluate education and workforce efforts in the Commonwealth. This includes developing reports and providing statistical data about these efforts so policymakers, agencies, and the general public can make better informed decisions about the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s education systems and training programs, KRS 151B.132. KYSTATS must also ensure compliance with the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. sec 1232g, and all other relevant federal and state privacy laws, KRS 151B.133(12).

Here are a few examples of the kinds of things that can only be done with a system like the one Kentucky has developed:

  1. By linking high school and college data together we are able to better understand how high school experiences affect college going and success. It allows us to provide much richer data about college preparation back to high schools as well as to colleges so we can improve alignment between the two areas.
  2. In a similar vein we can also link preschool and early childhood information to kindergarten and elementary school performance to ensure that all of Kentucky's children enter schools with the skills they need to be successful.
  3. Teacher preparation programs can benefit greatly by understanding how well their graduates are impacting student learning in the classroom so they can adapt their programs to ensure that future teachers enter the classrooms with the skills they need to have the greatest impact on their students' learning.
  4. Linking education and employment records in the future will allow us to know if our graduates are entering the workforce and earning a reasonable wage, how well our colleges are meeting the needs of Kentucky's industries, and what the return on investment is for our education and training programs.

The Kentucky Longitudinal Data System (KLDS) is being developed through a grant from the United States Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems program. Most states are in the process of developing something similar. In addition to the benefits to the state to provide better data to inform decision making at the local and state policymaker levels, and in order to receive federal money for education in the future, states must be able to report on issues such as college going and success and employment of graduates as well as other things that can only be answered through a system of this nature.

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