Examines the use of longitudinal administrative data systems to measure and report on program outcomes for education and training providers.

This report reviews the Department of Labor’s Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) “grants and state efforts to develop [Consumer Report Card Systems] CRCSs” (p.v). This study has three main objectives:

•    “To understand the relationship between the WDQI and state efforts to develop CRCSs, including describing WDQI states’ current systems for reporting outcomes for education/training programs, how the WDQI grants have been used to create or improve existing CRCSs, and the key factors related to successful CRCS implementation.

•    To assess the degree to which states without existing CRCSs are prepared to implement them, focusing in particular on their existing data infrastructure.

•     To identify how DOL [the U.S. Department of Labor] can support the implementation of CRCSs beyond the states with existing systems and improve the quality of CRCSs in states that already have them” (p.v-vi).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Using Workforce Data Quality Initiative Databases to Develop and Improve Consumer Report Card Systems

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “Our main finding is that all WDQI states with functioning CRCSs have used WDQI grants to create or improve their CRCSs. However, while it is necessary to have a WDQI-DB [database] to have a CRCS, having a WDQI-DB is not sufficient. The states that have CRCSs are limited to those that have used their WDQI grants and other funding sources to create or improve their databases and have devoted the time, expertise, and resolve necessary to develop CRCSs. Many WDQI grantee states do not yet have CRCSs, although some of these states are making progress towards developing CRCSs with the use of their WDQI grants” (p.viii). • “We find that only a small number of WDQI states appear poised to create (or to be able to create) a CRCS; most are still working to create the necessary data infrastructure. Information from the DQC [Data Quality Campaign] annual state survey suggests that a large number of states link postsecondary education data to workforce data—particularly UI [unemployment insurance] wage record data” (p.ix). • “Given the experiences of those states that have created, improved, or sought to create CRCSs using WDQI funding, we have two broad recommendations for how DOL can support more widespread implementation of these systems: • Recommendation #1: Provide resource support by funding additional WDQI grants focused on the development of CRCSs and work with ED [the U.S. Department of Education] to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information among states that have created, or are working to create, CRCSs. DOL and ED should also consider substantial efforts to encourage states to have their education and workforce agencies work more cooperatively. • Recommendation #2: Provide other incentives for states to develop CRCSs by phasing out WIA initial eligibility waivers and working with ED in a coordinated effort to encourage state support of CRCSs by systematically publicizing their value to state-level policymakers” (p.x). (Abstractor:Author)