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Kentucky establishes Center for Education and Workforce Statistics

Puts Kentucky at the forefront as a national leader in data use to improve education and training

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2012) – In a move that solidifies Kentucky’s role as a national leader in data use, Gov. Steve Beshear has signed an executive order establishing the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics. Its work will provide a more comprehensive view of the education to workforce process.

The center will serve as one independent source of quality data that links early childhood, K-12, teacher certification, postsecondary, adult education, workforce and other data to provide a better picture of the overall impact of state policies and programs.

“Data gathered by individual agencies offers only one piece of the puzzle,” Beshear said. “The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics puts all of the pieces together to provide the big picture that will help everyone – policymakers, educators, parents and students – make more informed decisions about the future.  We can use this data to build stronger connections among schools, workforce programs and other agencies so our students get a seamless and adaptable path to success.”

Data from the center can link high school preparation to college performance, teachers to students and to the colleges where they were prepared, high school and college graduates and dropouts to employment, and early childhood to kindergarten and grade school.

The center will house the Kentucky Longitudinal Data System, a statewide repository of education data from early childhood through postsecondary and into training and employment. The system has been developed and maintained through the P-20 Data Collaborative consisting of the Department of Education, the Council on Postsecondary Education, the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Education Professional Standards Board. The center will be supported by existing agency staff and will continue with its long-planned addition of two staffers to meet the requirements of additional service demands and a federal grant.

Additional public agencies to contribute data include the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, the Early Childhood Advisory Council and the Kentucky Commission on Proprietary Education.

The executive order establishes the Office for Education and Workforce Statistics and the board of the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce statistics, replacing the P-20 Data Collaborative. The office will be attached to the Office of the Secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The board of the center consists of Dr. Terry Holliday, commissioner of the Department of Education; Robert L. Brown, executive director of the Education Professional Standards Board; Robert L. King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education; and Joseph U. Meyer, secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Meyer will serve as chair.

“This action puts the necessary focus on the value of not only collecting data but also the value of understanding the data and using it to make future decisions,” said Meyer. “Our goal is to improve education and training opportunities in the Commonwealth and to help our students and parents make more informed choices.”

Benefits of the center include:

– Providing objective, comparable, actionable data back to schools, districts, colleges, universities, and communities that they can use to improve education.

– Maintaining linked data that allows for cross-agency statistics like linking high school performance to college success or linking postsecondary training to employment and earnings.

– Answering state and federal mandated reports that cross sectors.

– Providing greater transparency both for development and improvement purposes as well as for policy makers.

Charles McGrew will serve as the center’s executive director where he will oversee the release of numerous reports and respond to data requests. The center will release a report on the employment outcomes of college graduates in January 2013.  It will also provide a follow up to the High School Feedback report, released by the P-20 Data Collaborative earlier this year, which will focus on the success of students who went to college. That report is expected to be released in the spring 2013. For more information about these reports and other data, visit http://kentuckyp20.ky.gov/.