The Texas Student Data System will leverage five major system components:
- District Connections Database
- Certified PEIMS Data Store
- Texas Public Education Information Resource (TPEIR), the state’s P-20 data warehouse
- Business Intelligence Tools
- State-Sponsored Student Information System (SIS)
Collectively, these system components will standardize the data collection and data management process, they will equip educators with historical, timely and actionable student data to drive classroom and student success, and they will streamline the data submission and reporting process.
The critical components of the data solution are the following:
District Connections Database (DCD) The system will include a District Connections Database (DCD) that allows student-level data generated by source systems (e.g., student data and financial data) to be uploaded on a regular basis from independent school district (ISD) source applications or from a state-sponsored SIS, as described below in a manner that is consistent with FERPA. The DCD will facilitate the use of operational data by districts for their own reporting, analysis, and local actions. Districts will have the option of uploading data as often as they choose, thus addressing the need for timely, actionable student-level data to inform decision-making at the classroom, campus, and district levels. By centralizing the data platform at the state level and defining standard early-warning reports, the DCD provides the ability to access individual student data to drive continuous improvement in the classroom. It should also be noted that DCD operational data will not be accessible by the TEA, and the PEIMS data collection is not expected to expand as a result of the DCD implementation.
Certified PEIMS Data Store The system includes a certified PEIMS data store that will serve as a repository for certified data used for state and federal compliance reporting, funding, program evaluation, and educational research. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will populate the certified PEIMS data store through automated periodic extracts or “snapshots” of data from the DCD for specific compliance, funding, and accountability purposes, and school districts and TEA will validate these snapshots through a workflow and validation process. This process alleviates the burden on districts to perform unduly complex actions and allows for a more accurate, cost-effective creation of the data required by the state.
TPEIR The statewide data solution loads data from the certified PEIMS data store to the state’s P-20 data warehouse, TPEIR. In addition to eighteen years of P-12 data and seventeen years of higher education data from Texas colleges and universities, and information on teacher certification and teacher preparation programs, the warehouse will be expanded to link critical missing pre-K, college readiness, and workforce (wage, industry, and employment) data. When complete, TPEIR will enable P-20 monitoring of an individual student, from enrollment into the public education system through matriculation and graduation from Texas colleges and into the labor market. As such, Texas will have the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of pre-K to 12 programs based on how well they prepare students to contribute to the twenty-first century workforce.
Business Intelligence Tools The statewide data solution allows for more detailed analysis of data in FERPA-compliant ways by providing secure business intelligence and reporting tools in the DCD, the certified PEIMS data store, and TPEIR to more effectively support end-user analysis and reporting across the SLDS. Each of the three databases will have a set of business rules and authorized, role-based and secure access associated with the reporting tools.
State-sponsored Student Information System (SIS) The statewide data solution includes a proposed state-sponsored SIS which is critical to creating a solution that addresses the needs of the state’s complex and fragmented operating environment, with over 80 percent of districts in Texas having fewer than 5,000 students and over 60 percent having fewer than 1,000 students. The vast majority of these districts do not have the budget or available staff to support sophisticated information technology departments. The proposed state-sponsored standard SIS, which any district could use, will ensure that the majority of districts in Texas can link to the District Connections Database without expensive modifications to their current SIS. Additionally, a state-sponsored SIS will facilitate the interoperability of data structures and formats. This approach would create economies of scale to drive down per-student costs for districts, improve standardization of data across districts, and ensure the efficient use of tax dollars in the state.