Special Projects

Below is a description of the Teacher-Student Data Link Project. For complete information, visit the project website: www.tsdl.org.

The Teacher/Student Data Link (TSDL) Project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is being conducted by the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology (CELT) with guidance and dissemination support from the Data Quality Campaign (DQC). This project is a cross-state, collaborative effort focused on developing a best practice framework for a "Teacher of Record” (TOR) definition and business processes for collecting and validating linked teacher and student data. This important initiative brings five states together to leverage their collective experiences, knowledge, and resources to determine a common TOR framework and effective models for having a valid and Teacher reading with students reliable Teacher/Student data link, a critical component of their data systems and a key step in using accountability data to increase student learning.

In support of the TSDL project, CELT worked with the Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio Departments of Education and three of their local education agencies (LEAs) in conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of the data collection, verification, storage, and reporting processes and systems related to linked teacher-student and assessment data. This analysis is based on a review of ten key components of the TSDL within and between the SEAs and the LEAs. CELT's fieldwork and analysis extends to the school district and the school in order to assess how they record, collect, verify and use data.

Following the assessment phase, each SEA has partnered with its three LEAs to pilot TSDL recommendations with technical assistance from CELT. These pilot initiatives focus on improving the policies, processes, and data systems from the classroom to the state level as a way of improving/expanding the alignment of teacher and student data.

Throughout the project, CELT will work closely with the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) and incorporate its Ten Essential Actions in the TSDL project. CELT and DQC colleagues will review policies and disseminate project activities, learnings, and results to other SEAs and national education associations.

The TSDL work is structured to provide the participating SEAs and LEAs with support, guidance, and technical assistance throughout the two-year project. The major deliverables include:

  • Contemporary research and emerging promising practices.
  • SEA / LEA specific assessment and needs analysis reports.
  • Cross-state report with short- and long-term recommendations.
  • Common framework for the development of a "Teacher of Record” definition with associated policies, processes, and technology architecture that will guide and inform implementation.
  • Processes to support valid and reliable use of unique student and teacher identifiers.
  • Strategies for validating teacher and student profiles and classroom rosters.
  • Case studies that can be used for replication at the SEA / LEA level.
  • Database of research, best practices, and action plans.
  • Data models for collecting, reporting, and updating the Teacher-Student Data Link.

For additional information about the project, visit the project website, www.tsdl.org or contact CELT.