This repository includes resources, guides, templates and examples for implementing each element of the policy benchmark tool for improving the quality and use of career readiness data. While this list reflects strong state and national examples and tools, it is not exhaustive. These resources were compiled and vetted by the Career Technical Education (CTE) Data Quality Workgroup, which consists of national and state experts. If you have questions about any of the resources listed here, please contact Austin Estes at

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1. Data is collected consistently and accurately

Guidance Document: The Florida Department of Education’s Secondary Career & Technical Education (CTE) Database Handbook, Workforce Development Information System (WDIS) Database Handbook and Florida College System Student Data Dictionary offer detailed information for districts to submit their data and include related data elements, reporting formats, edit and validation rules and supporting appendices.
Sub-element: 1AEducation level: AllState: Florida
Professional Learning Module: The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction created a series of e-learning courses for a range of users of the state’s Wisconsin Information System for Education (WISE), which houses school, district, state and federal data. WISE supports related education research and data analysis. A series of self-paced modules addresses topics such as data security, the data submission process, data collection and validation, career education data, and high-quality data best practices.
Sub-element: 1AEducation level: K-12State: Wisconsin
Legislation: In Washington State, S.H.B. 2308 requires employers to include employees’ occupational data in quarterly tax reports to the Employment Security Department. Ultimately, this change in reporting aims to improve the state’s data collection for planning workforce education programs, evaluating the effectiveness of training programs, and guiding students on their career pathways.
Sub-element: 1A Education level: WorkforceState: Washington
Guidance Document: One way states can validate career readiness data is by building error rules or establishing thresholds for identifying anomalies in their data. The Ohio Department of Education has created a detailed set of validation and report explanations to assist Education Management Information System coordinators with submitting and verifying their data, including error reports for CTE students, CTE courses and more.
Sub-element: 1BEducation level: K-12State: Ohio
Guidance Document: The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education organizes the state’s Student Information Management System data handbook, error list, training materials and presentations in a one-stop shop.
Sub-element: 1CEducation level: K-12State: Massachusetts
Guidance Document: The Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center has a set of Data Reporting Standards that it uses prior to releasing web content, including dashboards with tables, graphs or other figures that are based on Center data. The goal of these standards is to assess the data limitations and the impact of those limitations on reporting but still find ways to provide valid, credible and meaningful information from the data.
Sub-element: 1CEducation level: AllState: Maryland
Guidance Document: MDRC and the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation's report, A Guide for Using Administrative Data to Examine Long-term Outcomes in Program Evaluation is designed to support program evaluation teams to leverage administrative data to evaluate long-term outcomes for federally-funded programs. 
Sub-element: 1BEducation level: All
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2. Processes and protocols are in place to ensure effective data governance

Legislation: In Kentucky, K.R.S. 151B.134 established the Board of the Kentucky Center for Statistics, which oversees data matching and reporting for the entire P20W system. The Board includes cross-sector leadership from the Department of Education, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Council on Postsecondary Education, the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
Sub-element: 2AEducation level: AllState: Kentucky
Tool/Template: The Data Quality Campaign has created a number of resources on how states can develop and implement high-quality data, including examples of state best practices. See the Roadmap for Cross-Agency Data Governance for guidance on key areas such as the composition and membership, roles and responsibilities and sustainability of the cross-agency data governance committee. The Art of the Possible: Data Governance Lessons Learned from Kentucky, Maryland, and Washington profiles how three states broke down the silos among state agencies that use data to support education and workforce efforts.
Sub-element: 2CEducation level: All
Interagency Agreement: Connecticut’s web-based resource hub organizes relevant documents for the state’s Preschool through 20 and Workforce Information Network (P20 WIN). These documents include MOAs between each participating agency and the Connecticut Department of Labor (the agency that conducts the data matching functionality for P20 WIN), the Data Governance Policy and Manual, the Data Request Management Procedure, the Cost Sharing Policy and related attachments and appendixes.
Sub-element: 2AEducation level: AllState: Connecticut
Tool/Template: The National Skills Coalition’s Data Policy Toolkit: Implementing the State Blueprint includes a legislative template that can provide a basis for new bills or Executive Orders designed to improve data infrastructure in states. The templates are designed to balance the need to compel action and permit flexibility and include and include language for components such as intent, definitions, establishing a state longitudinal data system board, privacy and funding.
Sub-element: 2AEducation level: Workforce
Infographic: This resource from Data Quality Campaign illustrates how state and local governments can use federal funding for education data at the early childhood, K-12, postsecondary and workforce level.
Sub-element: 2CEducation level: All
Guidance Document: Safeguarding Student Data in Higher Education, a brief from Data Quality Campaign, explores how postsecondary institutions can protect learner privacy and ensure data is used properly to support learner success. 
Sub-element: 2DEducation level: Postsecondary
Report: Privacy and Security in State Postsecondary Data Systems: Strong Foundations 2020, from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, summarizes practices and recommendations for protecting and securing postsecondary learner data. 
Sub-element: 2DEducation level: Postsecondary
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3. Data systems, policies and practices are fully aligned across agencies and learner levels

Guidance Document: The Washington Education Research and Data Center (ERDC) assembles, links and analyzes education and workforce data, made possible in part through the state’s identity matching and linking process. ERDC’s matching process first employs an automerge based on gender, date of birth, name and Social Security number, followed by a manual merge reviewed by a human. Each source of data has its own set of matching rules due to differences in data elements.
Sub-element: 3AEducation level: AllState: Washington
Guidance Document: The Tennessee Department of Education has created a robust process for submitting, approving, categorizing and promoting industry-recognized credentials for K-12 students. A Tool Kit houses resources including a draft memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Department of Education and credential providers, a list of the credentialing organizations that already have MOAs in place, and helpful FAQs on the state’s process.
Sub-element: 3AEducation level: K-12State: Tennessee
Inter-State Agreement: Established under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and jointly managed by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor, 52 states and territories (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) have signed on to participate in the State Wage Interchange System. This data sharing tool allows states to exchange wage data with other states and monitor outcomes within the regional economic or commuting area.
Sub-element: 3AEducation level: Workforce
Tool/Template: Data sharing agreements will vary depending on the partners involved. This resource, Guidelines for Developing Data Sharing Agreements to Use State Administrative Data for Early Care and Education Research, details a step-by-step process to develop a data sharing agreement and common components to include. It also provides two sample agreements between a state agency and a research organization.
Sub-element: 3AEducation level: K-12
Aligned Goals: Launch Oklahoma was created by Oklahoma Works to boost the state’s postsecondary attainment numbers and close the workforce skills gap. Statewide and regional attainment goals have been established for metrics including postsecondary enrollment in CTE; secondary enrollment in CTE; and attainment of certificates, degrees and credentials. Oklahoma has also set regional credential attainment goals broken down by delivery system. The state reports annual progress toward meeting statewide goals for each measure.
Sub-element: 3CEducation level: PostsecondaryState: Oklahoma
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4. Information is relevant, timely and disaggregated

Dashboard: The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Graduate Employment Outcomes data tool shows how many Minnesota graduates of public and private colleges and career schools are finding jobs in the state and at what wage based on education level (certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree or graduate degree). The tool allows users to review nine years of wage and employment outcomes by region, institution type, major, instructional program and degree awarded.
Sub-element: 4AEducation level: Postsecondary, WorkforceState: Minnesota
Dashboard: Oregon Learns developed the Education Pathway Data visualization, which traces a cohort of Oregon public high school students through high school graduation, enrollment in two- and four-year postsecondary institutions and attainment of postsecondary credentials. Users can review student paths and progress by gender, ethnicity and family income, as well as view school- and district-level data.
Sub-element: 4AEducation level: AllState: Oregon
Dashboard: The Kentucky Center for Statistics’ Career and Technical Education Feedback Reports empower users to analyze postsecondary and employment outcomes data for CTE pathway completers by career pathway type and status (e.g., whether students completed an industry certification). The data allows for longitudinal analysis and is presented by local workforce area alongside statewide data. Users can also dig into regional and statewide high school performance metrics such as apprenticeship and work-based learning enrollment, industry certificates, and type of career pathway completion.
Sub-element: 4BEducation level: AllState: Kentucky
Dashboard: Washington Community and Technical Colleges maintains a number of dashboards that track, among other indicators, after-college outcomes (annual wage and employment data); transfers from community and technical colleges to baccalaureate institutions; and credentials awarded by college, level and program area of interest, which can be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender and disability status.
Sub-element: 4CEducation level: AllState: Washington
Dashboard: The Maryland State Department of Education’s CTE Enrollment and Performance Trend Analysis Dashboards provide three-year trend reports for CTE enrollment and performance disaggregated by gender, race, special population status and Career Cluster®. Color-coded flags indicate whether targets are being met. These dashboards are an essential element of the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment review process for K-12 and community colleges required by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.
Sub-element: 4DEducation level: K-12, PostsecondaryState: Maryland
Guidance Document: Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group's Career Readiness Metrics Framework presents a comprehensive list of metrics that span middle school through adulthood and provides a standard for practitioners, policymakers and researchers to evaluate whether learners are on track for and progressing through their career pathways. It should serve as a resource to help leaders at the state and local levels go beyond traditional accountability systems and select, refine and prioritize career readiness indicators from middle school through adulthood. 
Sub-element: 4AEducation level: All
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5. Practitioners and the public are equipped to understand and leverage data

Dashboard: The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Future Ready PA Index dashboard includes a measure for the percentage of students demonstrating meaningful engagement in career exploration and preparation aligned to the Career Education and Work standards. The measure is provided at the school level alongside the statewide average and statewide performance standard for context and can be disaggregated by student subgroup.
Sub-element: 5AEducation level: K-12State: Pennsylvania
Report Card: The Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission releases annual one-page snapshots on enrollment; affordability; and outcomes such as completion rates, retention rates and annual earnings for each of the state’s community colleges and public universities. A number of measures are broken out by subgroup.
Sub-element: 5AEducation level: PostsecondaryState: Oregon
Data Story: Rhode Island’s DataHUB features a data story, Young Adults in RI’s Education-to-Career Pipeline. The story includes nearly 10 years of data on one cohort and examines how students’ educational experience is shaping the start of their careers and how their education relates to later employment in Rhode Island.
Sub-element: 5AEducation level: AllState: Rhode Island
Tool/Template: The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative develops standards and support materials to help users understand and implement website accessibility. The developers of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 have created a suite of technical resources to help evaluate web accessibility. These resources range from short videos and checklists to evaluation tools and reports to guidance on including people with disabilities in evaluation throughout project development.
Sub-element: 5AEducation level: All
Guidance Document: The Data Quality Campaign produced a series on making education data accessible and understandable to a variety of education stakeholders. The series includes an aligned policy brief, Empowering Parents and Communities through Quality Public Reporting. The series also includes guidance for state policymakers, superintendents, principals and local school board members on leveraging data to make informed decisions and empower action.
Sub-element: 5AEducation level: K-12
Professional Learning Module: The CTE Research Network is launching a series of self-guided training modules to help administrators become research savvy. Designed for CTE practitioners and state department of education staff, these courses aim to strengthen CTE practitioner capacity to access, conduct, understand and use rigorous CTE research.
Sub-element: 5BEducation level: K-12
Guidance Document: The Michigan Department of Education’s Career Education Planning Districts (CEPD) Instructional Guide is a training manual for CEPD administrators that specifies tasks and deadlines associated with different points in time over the course of a school year, providing tips and step-by-step instructions for completing key reporting requirements and correcting errors in data.  
Sub-element: 5BEducation level: K-12State: Michigan
Professional Learning Module: The Rhode Island Department of Education’s Data Use Professional Development series provides educators with the knowledge, tools and structures to effectively use data to inform instruction.
Sub-element: 5BEducation level: K-12State: Rhode Island
Professional Learning Module: The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Data Literacy Modules include four units that provide a background in data literacy to facilitate the interpretation and use of local and state assessment data to inform teacher practice and improve student achievement. The goal is for participants to gain an overall understanding of data literacy, how to effectively use student data, and what it means to be a data-literate educator and to introduce participants to WISE. 
Sub-element: 5BEducation level: K-12State: Wisconsin
Tool/Template: Advance CTE has developed a set of tools to guide CTE data reporting. Beyond the Numbers: Design Principles for CTE Data Reporting includes nine principles for designing reports that are accessible, user friendly and easy to understand. Beyond the Numbers: A Toolkit for Communicating CTE Data includes several tools and templates states can use to tell the deeper story behind their data.
Sub-element: 5CEducation level: All
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6. Information is used effectively to promote quality and equity in career pathways

Policy: The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) phases out associate degree and other sub-baccalaureate programs that fail to meet goals for enrollment, retention, placement and other outcomes. WTCS Program Approval, Suspension, and Discontinuance Policy 310 describes the process, which is collaborative and data driven and results in the suspension and discontinuation of under-performing and outdated programs.
Sub-element: 6AEducation level: PostsecondaryState: Wisconsin
Tool/Template: The Institute for Higher Education Policy created Postsecondary Data GPS: A Guidebook for Navigating Data to Promote Student Success. The online tool frames key questions colleges should ask using their data around access, progression, completion and cost and offers tools and visualizations for institutions to inform their change management and student success efforts, with a particular focus on promoting data quality and equity.
Sub-element: 6BEducation level: Postsecondary
Policy: WTCS created a Guide to Securing Student Information, which includes guidance on protecting small subgroups and how to handle small cell counts in Excel. The resource offers helpful advice on sharing student information and a protocol for sharing student information and data in presentations.
Sub-element: 6AEducation level: PostsecondaryState: Wisconsin
Tool/Template: The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) identifies gaps by student group through an analysis of CTE enrollment, completion and post-program outcomes data. When inequities are identified, DDOE engages in collaborative conversations with school-based staff, students and parents to identify gaps and models of support and to eventually develop a report on findings and steps to remedy equity gaps. Resources to help facilitate the site visit process for CTE programs of study include a CTE Monitoring Form, CTE Sample Monitoring Interview Questions and CTE Sample Monitoring Agenda and are housed on one website.
Sub-element: 6BEducation level: K-12State: Delaware
Program: The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Career-Technical Education facilitates Regional Equity Labs for secondary CTE programs, through which participants identify the most critical gaps, perform a root cause analysis, and create an equity action plan. In 2020, Ohio introduced the Equity Ambassador Program, through which participants will have access to professional development, participate in equity activities facilitated by the Department, and act as local equity experts for their Career-Technical Planning District.
Sub-element: 6CEducation level: K-12State: Ohio