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Student Data Bill Will Show Us What Is Working In Education

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House Education Policy Committee Chair Terri Collins today said that Alabama needs a student performance measuring tool known as a longitudinal data system that will greatly aid the evaluation of how well students are doing from early schooling to their first jobs.

Collins, R-Decatur, has sponsored HB 125. It would authorize the collection of student data from early education through entry into the workforce by a newly created Alabama Longitudinal Data System (ALDS).

The Alabama Workforce Council and the Business Council of Alabama fully support passage of this legislation.

The system will collect and maintain individual student data using a collection method that would not identify individual students or their health or medical records or any court or juvenile criminal or delinquency information. The system would access student performance data from various agencies including grade-point average, state and national assessment results, and demographic information.

Collins, the guest speaker at today’s Tuesday Briefing sponsored by the Business Education Alliance of Alabama, said the proposed system will be an excellent measuring tool for student progress in their educations and entering their fields of study.

“The data will help us do research on what works,” Collins said. “This will give us real information, productive information.”

The legislation would create an Alabama Office of Education and Workforce Statistics within the Alabama Department of Labor in order to develop and implement the ALDS and collect student records from early learning through postsecondary education through employment.

The ALDS would be fully operational by May 30 and will enable the Alabama Department of Labor to seek more federal labor workforce grants.

HB 125 also would require the state’s K-12, community college, and four-year university systems this year to define remediation and a process to utilize remediation.

Public schools, including two- and four-year colleges, could share data and allow K-12 systems to determine if students in dual enrollment actually filled jobs in their fields of study.

The House Education Policy Committee last week favorably reported HB 125. It’s on the House Calendar in position for consideration by the entire House.

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In other legislative business, Collins, who also serves on the House Ways and Means Education Committee, said she believes the budgets will begin moving next week, sooner rather than later in the legislative session which began Feb. 2 and must end by mid-May.

BCA Tuesday Meetings feature legislative leadership and administration officials who discuss topics of interest to Alabama’s business community.

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