This webinar, held on February 25, 2014, explores issues and practical solutions related to the effective management and use of statewide longitudinal data systems in education.

Jackie Burniske
Dissemination Director
REL Southwest, SEDL

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Webinar Archive

REL Southwest/REL Southeast Staff

Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript

Presentation 1
Dr. Nancy J. Smith

Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript

Presentations 2 and 3
Bethann H. Canada, Dr. John Hughes

Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript

Discussion and Questions
Facilitators and Presenters

Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript

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Webinar Overview

Many states have invested in developing a statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS). A critical next step is to establish management processes and policies for effectively sharing and using the data to meet various needs, including those of district staff and external researchers.

This interactive webinar—cohosted by REL Southwest and REL Southeast—examines issues that state and district education staff, researchers, and others face related to the management and use of SLDS data, with a focus on issues raised by participants. The presenters explore solutions for managing data sharing and use, including creative partnerships, application development, and how to leverage SLDS data in policy and practice. A question-and-answer session follows.

Key questions addressed:

  • What data uses need to be supported?
  • What is the best process for managing data requests from outside researchers and organizations?
  • How do you guide data use, research, and analytics to improve education outcomes?
  • How do you prioritize competing data policies and needs?
  • How do you sustain funding and other support for the data system?


Nancy J. Smith

Nancy J. Smith, Ph.D.
Principal Consultant
DataSmith Solutions, LLC
Austin, TX

Nancy J. Smith, Ph.D., facilitates the discussion and draws upon her many years of experience with data system governance.

Dr. Smith is the principal consultant with DataSmith Solutions, LLC, which provides technical assistance to numerous states and P-20W (early learning through the workforce) organizations on data governance and improving the development and use of statewide longitudinal data systems. Formerly, she was the director of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System grant program at the U.S. Department of Education and the co-founder and deputy director of the Data Quality Campaign. Dr. Smith has authored a number of white papers on research capacity, the adjusted cohort graduation rate, federal data collections, and the impact of statewide longitudinal data systems. She began her career in data governance while a systems analyst at the Texas Education Agency. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bethann H. Canada

Bethann H. Canada
Director of Educational Information Management
Division of Technology, Career and Adult Education
Virginia Department of Education
Richmond, VA

Bethann H. Canada discusses creative partnerships and applications for facilitating data use to improve education outcomes.

Ms. Canada is the director of educational information management for the Division of Technology, Career and Adult Education at the Virginia Department of Education (DOE). She served as chair of the National Forum on Education Statistics and was a contributing writer and editor to Forum publications, including the Forum Guide to Building a Culture of Data Quality. Ms. Canada is project director for a substantial multi-agency federal grant program that focuses on linking data across K-12, higher education, and the workforce. She has guided the Virginia DOE to creative solutions, including Apps4VA and CIT. Ms. Canada has presented her work in numerous forums, most recently to grantees in the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grant program with the National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences.

John Hughes, PhD

John Hughes, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Florida Center for Reading Research, and
Deputy Director, Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast
Tallahassee, FL

John Hughes, Ph.D., shares information about REL Southeast's free SLDS online workshop series, as publicized in SLDS Update.

Dr. Hughes is the associate director of the Florida Center for Reading Research and the deputy director of the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast. Dr. Hughes has conducted research and program evaluations at all levels of the education system: as an education analyst for the Florida Legislature, as program manager for Florida’s early learning programs, and as the associate vice chancellor for research at the Florida College System. While with the Florida College System, he was contract manager for Florida’s new college placement test and oversaw the implementation of an early college readiness testing program. His current work is primarily K-12 oriented with a focus on helping states better utilize their data systems to inform decisionmaking. Dr. Hughes holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida.


Virginia's Collaborative Data System:

REL Southeast SLDS Online Workshop Series:

Presentation Resources:

The following articles and publications provide the basis for the webinar presentations: